Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway

Many years before European settlers came over to North America and started to claim territory it was, and still is, home to the Native Americans that lived there. Each tribe has their own rich and storied history from their many years on the continent. Like many other cultures much of that history was lost to time.

The Trail of the Ancients is a trail running through Southwest Colorado that gives us a glimpse at some of that lost history. The trail replicates some of the paths taken by these ancient tribes and has remnants of those people along every stretch of the journey. With famous ruins like Mesa Verde being some of the more well known stops along the way but also having dozens of lesser known locations along the way. 

In between stops at various ruins and museums, those on the trail can explore the Colorado of today as well. Experiencing the local cuisine and culture of the small towns and cities along the way. Each hiding those great hidden hole-in-the-wall restaurants and local entertainment centers waiting to be discovered.

Where Is the Trail of the Ancients?

Exiting primarily in Southwest Colorado, the Trail of the Ancients runs through several states and then loops back on itself. Most of the trail is in Colorado but it passes briefly into Utah and gives the option to stop by the four corners monument which lets you step into any of the four states.

Along the way the trail passes through a variety of monuments and historic locations giving any travelers the chance to learn the story of the trail and its historic users.

How Long is the Scenic Byway?

The Trail of the Ancients, the Colorado version, consists of 116 miles of roads and paths leading to various historical sites of Native American and United States history. Add a few dozen more miles if you take some more scenic byways and detours to view more of the fantastic Colorado landscapes and pastimes. 

As you stop at each point on the trail, there's a good chance you'll need to walk a few miles to fully explore each stop, so be prepared for a lengthy but rewarding journey.

What Should I Expect to See?

Along the way on the Trail of Ancients, you can expect to see many of the sights the Ancient Native American tribes themselves saw. Most have changed over the years but some have remained remarkably preserved despite the ravages of time.

Travelers of the trail will see dozens of ruins and artifacts that have lasted through time. As they pass through each of these locations there will be a multitude of towns and cities as well. Each gives the chance for people to find delicious food, entertainment, and more as they explore the trail and its surroundings.

What is There to Do Along the Way?

As you travel the trail, you can do many things to keep yourself and even the pickiest of passengers entertained. 

Each stop of the trail is home to ruins and remnants of ancient tribes that would be plenty to fill someone's mind. If that doesn't strike your fancy at the time then you can explore the numerous towns and cities you will pass along the way. Each place has plenty of options for travelers to take advantage of. New and delicious food choices could be hiding around the corner or some new sights ready to be discovered.