With rich history in Ancestral Puebloan culture, let Durango be the center of your adventures.  Centrally located around 1000’s of sites, we range from archaic pithouses to the world renowned cliff dwellings.  Immerse yourself into the native cultures, art and fine cuisine that makes your adventure special.

Get ready for a four day educational excursion that will take you back 800 years into the past.  This unique experience allows you to discover their story and experience through education and interpretation of Southwest Colorado.

Here’s a four-day itinerary to explore the many archeological and cultural sites around Durango, CO:

Day 1

Day one, start your Southwest journey by visiting Chimney Rock Archeological Monument.

  • Grab a quick hearty breakfast at the Durango Bagel

  • Head east on Highway 160 toward Pagosa Springs, CO

  • Explore the archeoastronomy expertise of Chimney Rock National Monument and/or drive a section of the Tracks Across the Borders Scenic Byway

  • Return for a leisurely walk along Main Ave and explore the Toh-Atin Art Gallery, specializing in Indian Arts and Crafts since 1957

Day 2

Located just south of Durango, Aztec National Monument is another great place to learn more about the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloans. 

After visiting the Aztec National Monument, visit the Fort Lewis Southwest Studies to learn more about Southwest history and see all the beautiful art. 

  • Enjoy breakfast at Lone Spur Cafe in the beautiful downtown district

  • Head south on HWY 550 to Aztec Ruins in Aztec, New Mexico

  • Have lunch at Zia Taqueria

  • Drive up to Fort Lewis College to visit the Center of Southwest Studies and stroll the Rim Trail for great views of Durango and surrounding mountains

Day 3

Head west of Durango to Mesa Verde National Park. Make sure to book a tour, or if you would like, you can drive around and enjoy the beauty. Relax when you get back into town by doing a little shopping and grabbing dinner.

  • For a true diner experience, enjoy breakfast at the Durango Diner or Oscar’s

  • Drive west on Hwy 160 to the majestic Mesa Verde National Park and explore the Ancestral Puebloan Sites

  • Enjoy a stroll along Main Ave and explore the beautiful Native inspired art galleries like Sorrel Sky, Azul and Karyn Gabaldon

  • Have a great meal and relax at Fur Trapper Steak House or El Moro

Day 4

Before you head out, make sure to stop by Hovenweep National Monument and Canyons of the Ancients, you won’t want to miss out. 

  • Grab coffee, pastry and a to-go lunch sandwich at Bread

  • Drive west on Hwy 160 to Hovenweep and explore Little Ruin Canyon; and/or check out the Visitor Center and sites at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

  • Have a delicious dinner at Seasons of Durango or Ken & Sue’s


Surrounding Durango, CO are several prominent archeological and cultural sites that are perfect for history buffs of all ages. Fortunately, most of these cultural sites can be explored in just a few days. Hopefully our four-day itinerary will help take the guesswork out of planning your next trip through Durango.