Places to Visit After Mesa Verde National Park

One of Colorado’s most unique national parks, Mesa Verde offers visitors a captivating dose of history among beautiful vast desert landscapes. After you’ve had your fill of exploring Mesa Verde’s incredible cave dwellings, petroglyphs, and historic artifacts, continue your journey by checking out the following nearby destinations.

Cortez, Colorado – Just 10 miles outside of Mesa Verde National Park, the small town of Cortez is perfect for a stop at a casual restaurant or bar, and provides some overnight lodging options nearby the park. Stop by the Cortez Cultural Center for the outdoor theater and cultural events.

Durango, Colorado – The small town of Durango offers a charming Old West feel and isn’t far from Mesa Verde. Check out the town’s historic railroad and take a day trip into the nearby town of Silverton. Durango is also a popular destination for skiers. 

Dolores, Colorado – A tiny Colorado town, Dolores is situated alongside the Dolores Valley and the McPhee Reservoir. The town was established as a stop on the Rio Grande Southern Railroad and makes for an interesting place to continue your trip after visiting Mesa Verde National Park. Be sure to visit the Anasazi Heritage Center here.

Canyon of the Ancients – This national monument protects age-old archeology in this historic region. Ancestral Puebloan and other Native American cultural and archeological sites are encompassed by this massive preserved canyon.

Telluride, Colorado – Just an hour and forty minutes outside of Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride is a charming ski resort town in Colorado. A gorgeous mountain town, Telluride offers phenomenal views of the impressive Rocky Mountains.