Mesa Verde - San Juan Mountains Area Attractions

Visit numerous historical and archeological sites in southwestern Colorado.

Arches National Park

A day trip of about 2 hours each way will bring you to Arches National Park made famous by Edward Abbey in Desert Solitaire.  Amid a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in the world, Arches NP has over 2,000 natural stone arches in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.  Short hiking trails will allow you to climb onto some of these amazing formations while looking out over a redrock landscape filled with countless jaw-dropping views. (2 - 2 1/2 hours)

(435) 719-2299
Canyonlands National Park

A little more than an hour’s drive from Starry Nights Ranch will take you to this magical land of buttes, mesas, canyons, and rivers.  Yes – rivers!  You can hike to the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers where, standing above this magnificent sight, you will see where the two formidable bodies of water each fight to retain their own identities. (1 1/2 hours)

(435) 719-2313
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

At a huge 176,000 acres, CANM has the highest known density of archeological sites in the United States.  More than 6,000 ancient sites have been identified, including villages, cliff dwellings, underground ceremonial chambers, and rock art.  The Monument, declared a national monument in 2000, has been used or inhabited by humans for thousands of years, and continues to be used by humans today.  Within the Monument are: Hovenweep NM (1 ½ hours), the largest site within CANM and once home to more than 2,500 people; Lowry Pueblo, the only developed recreation site with 40 stabilized room, 8 kivas, and a Great Kiva; Painted Hand Pueblo, a beautiful standing tower perched on a boulder; and Sand Canyon, one of the largest prehistoric settlements in this region, with a 6.5-mile trail used for hiking and mountain biking. (30 minutes)

(970) 882-5600
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Originally built in 1882 and used primarily for hauling gold, silver and other mine ores, the train today travels between Durango and Silverton with its cargo of passengers looking to experience the stunning and rugged scenery of the San Juan Mountains.  The longest-running offering for tourists and locals originally taken by miners, cowboys and the area’s first settlers takes about 3 ½ hours each way and allows riders to spend about two hours exploring downtown Silverton.  You will find there are options for other exciting excursions on the train by going to (35 minutes)

(970) 247-2733
Four Corners National Monument

The only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point: Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado. The original marker was erected in 1912, a simple cement pad, which has since been redone in granite and brass.  The Visitor Center is open year-round, and features a Demonstration Center with Navajo artisans. Navajo vendors sell handmade jewelry, crafts and traditional Navajo foods nearby.  Be sure to try their Navajo Tacos made with traditional Navajo fry bread! (1 hour)

(928) 206-2540
Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years.  The park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.  Located in southwestern Colorado between Cortez and Mancos, Mesa Verde is only about 10 miles by road from our doorstep, but visible in all its glory from our lodge, cabin, and land.  You will be enthralled by the spectacular sunsets behind this iconic mesa nearly every evening of your stay – rivaled only by our starry night sky. (10 minutes)

(970) 529-4465
UTE Mountain Tribal Park

Ute tribal guides will lead you on an incredible adventure while they interpret tribal culture, pictographs, cliff dwellings, surface ruins and artifacts. (1 1/2 hours)

(970) 565-3751