Ute Mountain Tribal Park

Written by on March 15, 2013 in CO History & Heritage - Comments Off on Ute Mountain Tribal Park

About 400 A.D., the Ancestral Pueblo people moved into the Mancos Valley. They hunted, fished and farmed the canyons and mesa tops. To shelter from the harsh climate, they built solid dwellings nestled into the cliff faces. Ute Mountain Tribal Park was established to preserve these remote dwellings, as well as preserve the culture of the modern day Ute tribe that still holds these lands as sacred.

Ute Mountain Tribal Park encompasses 125,000 acres just south of Mesa Verde, and surrounds a 25-mile stretch of the Mancos River. There are hundreds of cliff dwellings, Ancestral Puebloan petroglyphs and historic Ute wall paintings and petroglyphs the showcase the Native American history and heritage of the people who lived here long ago. Designated a primitive area, the park was selected by National Geographic Traveler as one of the “80 World Destinations for Travel in the 21st Century.” It was one of only nine places in the United States to receive this special designation.

To protect the fragile ecosystem, tours of Ute Mountain Tribal Park are only conducted by members of the Ute tribe who have a broad knowledge of Ute and Ancestral Puebloan cultures. The guides shares stories about Ute history and rock art, the surface sites and cliff dwellings. You may select a half day or a dull day tour, but reservations are required. The tours are also strenuous requiring several miles of hiking, climbing and descending ladders and a head for heights. Tours are available from April through October. There are some special backcountry hikes in the park, also guided by members of the Ute tribe.

Other attractions in the area include:
Mesa Verde
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Ute Mountain Tribal Park
P.O. Box 109
Towaoc, CO 81334
Phone: 800-847-5485 or 970-565-9653
Email: ten.enofnull@krapetu

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