One Day Just Isn't Enough: Summer Fun in Cortez, Dolores & Towaoc
Stargazing at stunning Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites, sampling the bounty of local producers at verdant farms and ranches, epic fly-fishing on the Dolores River — there’s so much to see and do in Mesa Verde Country.
There are special places and unique vistas around nearly every Colorado corner. You can help ensure these places exist for generations to come by staying on roads and trails, keeping speeds in check, leaving campsites and picnic spots just as you found them, and following instructional signs while you’re out and about in our state.
From the top of Lizard Head Pass, the Dolores River flows 241 miles until it empties into the Colorado River. The Dolores travels down in a canyon, past the old mining town of Rico and into McPhee Reservoir near the town of Dolores. The major fishing areas are the feeder streams, the river above the town of Dolores and the stretch below McPhee Reservoir.
Stop at Dolores Outfitters for the scoop on the best local angling spots and everything you need for a fly-fishing adventure on the Dolores River.
The Cortez Cultural Center hosts Native American dances on summer evenings.
Agritourism Tours are now available through the Cortez Cultural Center. Experience the inner workings of today’s farm and ranch life in Mesa Verde Country. Discover what life on a farm is like as you taste the flavor of the region.
The 7-mile out-and-back Sand Canyon Trail travels through a juniper and pinion pine forest to stunning Ancestral Puebloan ruins.
Located near Mesa Verde, Canyon Trails Ranch offers scenic Southwest Colorado backcountry horseback rides in spectacular McElmo Canyon. Visit ancient ruins and learn the history of the Puebloan people via horseback.
Due to its remote location surrounded by the Navajo Reservation and BLM public lands, Hovenweep preserves a primordial dark sky largely unaltered by modernity. In 2014, International Dark-Sky Association certified Hovenweep National Monument as the 17th International Dark Sky Park. Stargazing and exploring the night sky is allowed from the visitor center parking lot and campground only.