Sand Canyon Pueblo

· Canyon of the Ancients

Sand Canyon Pueblo

Most people, when they come to view prehistoric sites in SW Colorado, envision grand cliff dwellings and remarkably well-preserved huts. The Sand Canyon Pueblo, the largest single Native American ruin in Colorado, defies these expectations. Here, most of the ruin was left unrestored and underground. Nonetheless, it provides an equally educational experience, and it is quite enlightening to see what the ruins look like when nature is allowed to take its course. The birding here is nothing to scoff at, either, and excellent pinyon-juniper forest provides a good chance for all the specialties thereof. Look for Gray and Plumbeous Vireos, Western Bluebird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Gray and Virginia’s Warblers, and more. Colorful collared lizards are common here, and mammals such as least chipmunk and rock squirrel are often spotted. Those desiring a desert hike can walk six miles down Sand Canyon to a trailhead on McElmo Creek. This makes for an excellent and fairly easy way to experience remote southwest Colorado while hiking through scenic canyon country.

County: Montezuma

Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper Forest, Rimrock/Mesa

Directions: From Cortez, drive north 5 miles on US 491, then turn left (west) onto CR P and follow for about 8 miles through some twists and turns (including a tricky spot: when you get to CR 18, turn left, then right onto P again). About 8 miles from 491, turn left on CR 16. Then turn left onto CR N and watch for the BLM parking lot on the left.

Delorme: 84 A2
Roads of Colorado: 136 C4

Dates of Access: Open all year
Hours: Daylight hours
Ownership: BLM
Admission: Free

Restrictions: Disturbing or removing of Native American artifacts prohibited

Parking: Gravel parking area
Lodging: None

Handicapped: No
Handicapped Access: None

Latitude: 37.399988
Longitude: -108.775289


Drinking FountainNo
Gravel TrailsYes
Paved TrailsNo
Visitor CenterNo
Gift ShopNo

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