Crow Canyon

Crow Canyon Tour

  • The Crow Canyon Campus
    The Crow Canyon Campus
  • Tour a replica pithouse
    Tour a replica pithouse
  • Go behind the scenes
    Go behind the scenes
  • Learn about archaeology
    Learn about archaeology

Tour an archaeological research center!

Every Wed. and Thurs., 9–10 a.m., June - September 2020

On this free half-mile walking tour, you’ll enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at an archaeological research center. In just one hour, you’ll visit a working archaeology lab, have the opportunity to see ancient artifacts up close and explore Crow Canyon’s unique educational facilities. You’ll learn about the fascinating work of field and lab archaeologists. You’ll also learn about how Crow Canyon works with American Indians to create a more inclusive American history.

This tour will enrich your visit to Mesa Verde National Park, the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum, and other archaeological sites and museums.

About this Program

  1. Overview
  2. Archaeological Ethics
  3. Details

What’s Included on the Tour

  • Crow Canyon’s archaeology laboratory
  • The Pithouse Learning Center, a replica of a eighth-century Pueblo dwelling
  • The Pueblo Farming Project’s demonstration gardens

Why You’ll Love It

  • This free, one-hour tour fits easily into anyone’s vacation schedule. Advance registration is not required.
  • You’ll gain a new appreciation and understanding of archaeology and the ancient history of the Four Corners area.

Schedule and activities subject to change

Archaeological Ethics
The Crow Canyon Tour includes touring a working laboratory. Artifacts and other archaeological remains are important sources of information that archaeologists use to determine how people lived in the past. It is a violation of the Society for American Archaeology code of ethics for program participants to keep any artifacts or other cultural or paleontological remains from any archaeological site, and it is against the law for participants to keep any such materials collected from state or federal land. Learn more about responsible archaeology.

What to Bring
A water bottle, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses are recommended. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Rain gear might come in handy during the monsoon season (July and August).

Crow Canyon’s beautiful, 170-acre campus features a large meadow, pinyon- and juniper-covered hillsides, and spectacular views of Mesa Verde and the La Plata Mountains. A short nature trail winds through the woods. Buildings on campus include the lodge, cabins, and hogans for our guests, and the Gates Building, which houses classrooms and offices in addition to the lab.

Local Environment, Climate, and Weather
Crow Canyon is located in the high desert, where deep sandstone canyons dissect pinyon-, juniper-, and sage-covered plains, all against the distant backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The campus is located at an elevation of 6200 feet.

The Colorado sun is strong (ultraviolet exposure increases about 4 percent for every 1000 feet above sea level), and the air is generally very dry. In summer, daytime temperatures are usually in the mid-80s to low 90s but occasionally reach triple digits. In July and August (our monsoon season), it is not uncommon to get afternoon thunderstorms.

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center's programs and admission practices are open to applicants of any race, color, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, or sexual orientation.

Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California CST 2059347-50

Crow Canyon Tour Information

Tour Details

Cost: Free

Limited Availability!
reservations highly reccommended

Reserve Your Spot

Meet your tour guide at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of the Gates Building on our campus. Tour begins at 9:00 a.m.

Directions: From the intersection of Highway 491 and County Road L northwest of Cortez, turn west on Road L. Drive about 1 mile to Road 23 (watch for Crow Canyon sign), and turn left. In about 1 mile, Road 23 curves to the left and turns into Road K, which in turn becomes Crow Canyon's driveway. Free visitor parking is available.

  800.422.8975, ext. 455
     M–F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time)

  [email protected]

Our Campus

View of the Crow Canyon campus and Ute Mountain

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is located on a beautiful 170-acre campus in southwest Colorado, close to Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Cortez. Read more.