West of Durango and Cortez in the southwest corner of Colorado, the new Canyons of The Ancients National Monument has miles of horseback riding past the the highest known density of archeological sites anywhere in the United States, with rich, well-preserved remnants of native cultures going back thousands of years. The new monument is located in the Four Corners region, about 45 miles west of Durango and 9 miles west of Mesa Verde National Park. Occupation of this area by hunters and gatherers likely began over 10,000 years ago. Farming in the area blossomed between 450 and 1300 A.D., when the area was occupied by Ancestral Northern Pueblo People. Year-round villages were established, evolving from pit house dwellings to the cliff-dwelling pueblos.
There has not been much documented about the trails throughout this national monument. For additional info, the best bet is to contact the visitor center. Visitors planning to explore the Monument should first stop at the Anasazi Heritage Center (10 miles north of Cortez and 3 miles west of Dolores) for orientation and current conditions.