On Day 1 of this tour, gain an in-depth understanding of the ancestral Puebloan people by experiencing a rare opportunity to take a horseback ride into the Ute Mountain Tribal Park - one of the most undiscovered Puebloan ruin systems in the U.S.
On Day 2, you will take a tour one of the most popular World Heritage site's in the U.S., Mesa Verde National Park, and witness the remnants of this ancient culture and home of the largest cliff dwellings in North America.
On Day 3, enjoy an optional day to take in some of the area's other cultural attractions. You can learn more about how we have come to learn all that we have about these ancient cultures by visiting Crow Canyon, an active archaeological dig site (Seasonal - Summer only on Wednesday and Thursdays Only). Can't make the Crow Canyon dig site, consider riding the historic Durango & Silverton Railroad and learn about another aspect of the Old West, the settlement of the area some 600 years later as the America expanded along side of the railroad in search of Gold, Silver and a new way of life.
- Lodging in Durango at your choice of available partner lodging options (A minimum of 3 nights is highly recommended to provide ample time to enjoy 2 full-day activities).
- A full day, guided tour to Mesa Verde National Park with entrance to the park, all park fees, lunch and hotel pick up and drop off included.
- A beautiful Ute Mountain Tribal Park horseback ride through Colorado's backcountry and even the possibility of seeing some of the Country's last wild horses. Off season, we recommend substituting a historical and scenic ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
- Add extra nights to your trip (in Durango, Cortez, Silverton, and/or Ouray).
- Add additional activities to your itinerary: a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Evening entertainment, river trips, jeep tours, horseback rides, and more!
After a beautiful and scenic drive or flight from any direction, check into your selected hotel and kick your feet up, grab a bite at one of our world-class dining options and rest up for 3 days of cultural and historical exploration!
Day 1 - Ute Mountain Tribal Park Tour:
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind backcountry horseback ride into the Ute Mountain Tribal Park. This ride is a chance of a life time to see the west as its most wild, taking you into the Ute Tribal Park to explore a historical hidden gem with some of the most untouched cliff dwelling and Puebloan ruins in the world. You will also have an opportunity to explore Colorado's back-country and even see some of the West's last wild horses. Walk away from the professionally guided tour having explored some of the best that Colorado has to offer, a great horseback excursion, back-country wilderness and wildlife and an incredible glance back in history. (Please note: there is a maximum weight limit of 240lbs. and they must have a min of 6 riders for this trip to depart. If minimum is not met, they will do their best to accommodate a similar and equally as exciting ride for you.)
When the day is over, head into Durango and check into your Durango hotel. If you would like more out of your day, try an evening of frontier style fun with a show at the Henry Strater Theater in Durango.
Day 2 - Mesa Verde Tour:
Enjoy the perfect complement to your first day's learning journey with a full-day tour of Mesa Verde National Park. A professional and knowledgeable tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you out to spend a full day exploring the ancient culture and architecture of Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde National Park offers some of the most notable and best-preserved archaeological sites in the United States. You will experience southwestern cultural heritage and comparisons between the Ancestral Puebloan people and their contemporary indigenous descendants who still live in the Southwest today.
During their last century, some Pueblo Natives of Mesa Verde left the mesa tops and built their homes in the alcoves that abound in the many canyon walls, commonly referred to as "cliff dwellings". The exact number of dwellings in Mesa Verde is unknown, but over 600 cliff dwellings have been documented. You will get to explore many dwellings with hand chosen experts of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Geology that will enhance your journey to this area with the knowledge and experience needed to understand the advancement of this civilization and their cultural development. This tour is truly hassle-free as it includes the entrance fees, refreshments and bag lunch of your choice in tour price.
Day 3 - Optional Crow Canyon or Durango Train day:
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center (Available Summer only on Wednesdays and Thursdays) is an active archaeological investigation with a mission to advance knowledge of the human experience through archaeological research, education programs, and collaboration with American Indians. Crow Canyon is an ongoing, long-term archaeological research site that continues to study the ancestral Pueblo Indians of the American Southwest, with a focus on the Mesa Verde region in southwestern Colorado.
If you cannot make the Crow Canyon tour, consider taking a ride on the famous Durango & Silverton Railroad and explore the scenic backcountry of the San Juan Mountains and experience what life was like over 100 years ago as the first settlers came to this area to settle the West in search of Gold, Silver, and a new way of life.
Bring your family to experience some of the richest cultural heritage in the United States with this World Heritage Cultural tour - a fun and exciting "learning" journey for any family.