Cortez is one of the largest towns in Southwest Colorado, secluded near the Four Corners. The historic downtown section is several blocks, all lined with nice shops and restaurants.
Located in Montezuma County, Cortez is the county’s largest city and county seat. It had a population of 8,482 in 2010. It resides at an elevation of 6,191 feet.
Archaeological Sites – The southwest region of Colorado was once settled by the Anasazi or Ancient Peubloan people. Ancient ruins are located all around, many have been excavated are are open to visit. Find pit houses, cliff dwellings, kivas and other signs of civilization. Mesa Verde, Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients are all nearby.
- Mancos State Park offers 32 sites; no electrical hook-ups.
- Mesa Verde has a whopping 267 campsites, many with
- Hovenweep has a very nice 31-site campground with breathtaking views.
- Primitive car camping is permitted on many BLM roads in the Canyons of the Ancients.
- McPhee Recreation Area has a campground.
- Nearby by Mancos State Park offers a large lake open to fishing and boating year round.
- McPhee Reservoir to the north near Dolores has boating and fishing. It’s the second largest lake in Colorado behind Blue Mesa Reservoir.
- Totten Lake is a small reservoir just east of downtown.
- Great hiking is never far off in the Southwest. Many archaeological sites offer well maintained trails and a chance to see historic sights.
Hotels and lodging:
Far View Lodge – Stay southeast of town inside Mesa Verde National Park. It lies 15 miles south of the park’s entrance, granting unmatched convenience for experiencing the park round the clock.
Read about the Top 9 Cool Hotels in Cortez.
Activities near Cortez
- Ute Mountain Casino (14mi)
- Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (11mi)
- Hovenweep National Monument (45mi)
- McPhee Reservoir (16mi)
- Mesa Verde National Park (22mi)
- Mesa Verde Wilderness Area
- San Juan National Forest
- Yucca House National Monument (11mi)
Made in Colorado:
- Mancos State Park (23mi)
- Dolores (11mi)
- Durango (45mi)
- Hesperus (34mi)
- Mancos (17mi)
- Pleasant View (20mi)
- Telluride (76mi)
- Yellow Jacket (15mi)
Latest in Cortez
Evidence of Colorado’s early Native American cultures exist at sites across the state, existing in various…
Colorado, like most states, has its squabbles between “locals” and “outsiders”, or “natives” and “newcomers”. The…
[Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park. Photo: Srikanth Jandhyala] Mesa Verde National Park is one of…
Southwestern Colorado is rich in archaeology and American Indian culture. The museums in this remote corner…