This approximate 160 mile loop drive will take you through desert canyons and wide open country of southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. You will go through the communities of Cortez, Blanding, Monticello, and Dove Creek.

This road adventure will take about 4 hours with minimal stops. However to enjoy the various attractions and a couple of side detours, allow yourself at least one or two days! It is recommended that the trip be taken in a clock-wise direction starting from Cortez, Colorado. This allows one the opportunity to stay over-night in Blanding or Monticello if necessary.

Cortez, CO

Many consider Cortez the cultural center of Mesa Verde Country. Strong agricultural traditions and Native American heritage characterize this town, located in the valley that is shadowed by Mesa Verde. Ancient cliff dwellings, cowboys and farms mingle harmoniously below the surrounding mountains.
Cortez Cultural Center
25 N. Market St.
(970) 565-1151

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
23390 Road K
(800) 422-8975
Crow Canyon Brochure (PDF 437 KB)

Colorado CR G

As one of the most popular trails in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, this 6.5 mile trail one-way takes you along Sand Canyon and the vast beauty of canyonlands and numerous puebloan cliff dwellings. The trail is for hikers, mountain bikers, and some horseback riding. As an added experience, there are two wineries along this roadway:
Guy Drew Vineyards
19891 CR G
Cortez, CO 81321
(970) 565-9211

Sutcliffe Vineyards
12174 Road G
Cortez, CO 81321
(970) 565-0825
Saddlehorn Pueblo
Photo by EMKotyk

UT Hwy 413

Within this monument are six ancestral Puebloan villages spread over a 20-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons along the Utah-Colorado state line. The main complex and park facility is located in Utah. From this location, one can hike along a trail system on the mesa top to view numerous structure and ruins.
Hovenweep Castle
Photo by EMKotyk

Blanding, UT

Blanding is the gateway to Utah's Canyon Country. Surrounded by more state and national parks than anywhere else in the United States.

754 South 200 West
(435) 678-3454
The Dinosaur Museum exhibits a complete history of the world of dinosaurs. Skeletons, fossilized skin, eggs, footprints, state-of-the-art graphics, and beautifully realistic sculptures present the dinosaurs from the Four Corners region.
Skeletal Reconstruction
Photo by EMKotyk

1594 W. North Temple, Suite 116
(435) 678-2238
Edge of the Cedars museum houses the largest collection of Ancestral Puebloan pottery in the Four Corners Area. The museum was built at the site of an ancient village which included dwelling units and a kiva. The kiva and some other structures have been restored and can be viewed behind the museum. The museum offers programs for adults and children, including archeology and art exhibitions, storytelling, and craft workshops.
Edge Of The Cedars
Photo by EMKotyk

Monticello, UT

Sheltered by the Abajo Mountains, Monticello is a cool and peaceful summer get-away. It is a small town with a big playground. Popular day tours include Canyonlands National Park, Canyon Rims Recreation Area, Manti-La Sal National Forest, the Needles, and Anticline Overlooks. Monticello is a center for hunting in the fall. While visiting, take the time to visit the following museums.
1117 N. Main St.
(435) 587-2156
Canyon Country Discovery Center creates lifelong learning experiences about the Colorado Plateau through adventure, education, and stewardship.
Canyon Country Discovery Center.
Photo by EMKotyk
216 S. Main St.
(435) 587-2271
The Frontier Museum is the welcome center for Monticello. The museum offers a glimpse of life as it was lived on the edge of the Great Sage Plain in the last century.
Frontier Museum.
Photo by EMKotyk

Dove Creek, CO

Deriving its name from the wild doves inhabiting local waterways, Dove Creek is best known as one of the pinto bean capitals of the world! The Adobe Milling company sells the famous Anasazi beans and numerous other locally produced products.
Adobe Milling Co.
60740 Hwy 491
Dove Creek, CO 81324
(970) 677-2620