Tour two Ancestral Pueblos and immerse yourself in ancient history on Trail of the Ancients

& History
Along the Trail

Canyons of the Ancients Vistor Center and Museum

The Canyons of the Ancients Vistor Center and Museum is a federal research center, curation facility, and museum with approximately three million records, samples, and artifacts from public lands throughout southwestern Colorado. It is also the visitor center for the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM).

Adjacent to the Visitor Center and Museum are the 12th century archaeological sites named after the Spanish Franciscan friars who were the first to record prehistoric sites in Colorado. The Dominguez site is located right outside the Museum building and consists of four rooms with low stone walls--all that remains of the structure constructed around A.D. 1123.

Escalante Pueblo, located a half-mile walk up the hill from the Museum, experienced three periods of habitation. The main complex constructed in A.D. 1129 was a Chacoan outlier, part of the vast trading network with the people at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. After a short abandonment the pueblo was reoccupied about A.D. 1150. A final occupation of very short duration occurred sometime around A.D. 1200. Two kivas were part of the Pueblo, but only one has been excavated. The trail to Escalante also provides an opportunity to learn about native plants. A guidebook is available at the base of the trail.