It goes without saying that Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether it’s overlooking an alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, or the majestic Maroon Bells, Colorado’s natural beauty is something that should be enjoyed by all.
Not only is Colorado home to an immense wealth of natural wonders, the cultural heritage of the area is equally as impressive. The area that is now Colorado has been home to various human groups for thousands of years, and while their material legacy is not on the same level of grandeur as the pyramids at Giza or the coliseum in Rome, they present a more subtle narrative to human history in Colorado and they should too be seen and enjoyed.
Now, it is important to note that there are state and federal laws that deal specifically with the public’s interactions with culturally significant areas and archaeological sites as well as a code of ethics.
The Society for American Archaeology provides information on this as well as some useful links on the following web page. The good news for lovers of the outdoors and archaeology enthusiasts is that many of the prominent archaeological destinations in the state are located within national parks, such as the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde, and Hovenweep.
Because these sites have already been well excavated and continue to be administered and persevered through the federal government it makes visiting them, and enjoying the history and surrounding natural beauty easy.
The majority of these sites are located well within driving distance of the front-range and have established camp grounds as well as a plethora of activities including: hiking, biking, snowshoeing, kayaking/canoeing, climbing, and many others.
Certainly most people do not need any extra motivation to get out and enjoy all that the wondrous outdoors of Colorado have to offer, but the rich archaeological history and numerous exquisitely preserved sites undoubtedly give anyone an exceptional reason to explore the centennial state.