Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park. Photo: J. Stephen Conn
Montezuma County lies in the southwestern corner of Colorado, a large county with 25,535 inhabitants in 2010. It was created by the Colorado Legislature in 1889 and named for Moctezuma II, a revered Mexican chief of the Aztec Indians.
The county seat is Cortez, and the county is rich with Native American archeological sites and structures. Mesa Verde National Park and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument house the cliff dwellings and other historical artifacts.
Approximately one-third of Montezuma County is tribal land, one-third is federally managed, and the remaining third is privately owned or belongs to the state or county. The elevations range from 6,000 to 14,000 feet, and Colorado’s second largest reservoir, McPhee Reservoir, is found here.
Visit the Montezuma County Government website.
- Apache, AZ – southwest
- Dolores – north
- La Plata – east
- San Juan – northeast
- San Juan, NM – south
- San Juan, UT – west
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Featured Montezuma County blog
5 Reasons to Visit Mesa Verde this Winter – In the A.D. 1200s, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were home to ancestral Pueblo Indian people. Today, visitors come from all over the world to explore the archaeology preserved at Mesa Verde National Park…
Snow-free Winter Hike on Sand Canyon Trail – When you need a break from snow and ice, try the red rock of McElmo Canyon and the Sand Canyon Trail in southwestern Colorado. The lower part of this trail in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument offers…