The Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway traverses a portion of the American Southwest that, once experienced, cannot easily be forgotten.

The visitor returns home with memories of sandstone landscapes carved by wind and water into shapes of every kind, and it is common for those who have traveled through the Four Corners area to return many times. Geologic drama, tough and complex plant and animal life, the relationship between water and rock all provoke the mind and imagination to learn about the origins of this ancient place. Most compelling is the long occupation by native human communities, present over a time spectrum rarely intact elsewhere. Extending from Paleolithic society to Ancestral Puebloans to nomadic Navajo, Apache and Ute tribes to the impact of European settlers, these native communities endure. Visitors find century-old traditions still honored, and new practices and art forms constantly evolving.



Trail of the Ancients Geotourism Map

National Geographic GeoTourism Map of the Four Corners Region Trail of the Ancients
Geotourism maps reflect the things locals love best, those 'must see' places that reflect the cultural continuum from prehistoric sites to modern day communities, natural features, small towns, and enduring landscapes.

Maps are $11.95, plus $3 shipping and may be ordered from Trail of the Ancients-Colorado, by mailing a check or money order for $14.95 to:

Trail of the Ancients
Box HH
Cortez, CO 81321
rock art







We invite you to explore the long and intriguing occupation of the Four Corners region by Native American peoples. Travel through the archaeological heartland of America while crossing the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. The Trail of the Ancients highlights both remote archaeological sites and significant cultural and historic sites in Southwest Colorado. Trail of the Ancients is the only National Scenic BywayTrail of the Ancients totally dedicated to archaeology and, unique to this byway, the traveler must get out of the car to truly experience everything the byway has to offer.

The Trail of the Ancients is a trail from the past to the future, from adventure to understanding. For an experience you will never forget, join us along the Trail of the Ancients.