Crow Canyon

Archaeology Day Tour

  • Tour an archaeology lab
    Tour an archaeology lab
  • The Crow Canyon Campus
    The Crow Canyon Campus
  • See archaeologists at work
    See archaeologists at work
  • Tour an archaeology dig
    Tour an archaeology dig
  • Crow Canyon's Lodge
    Crow Canyon's Lodge

Tour an archaeological dig site and learn about Pueblo history!

Every Wed. and Thurs., 9 a.m.-4 p.m., August - September 2020

Tour our working laboratories and current excavation site on this one-day introduction to the archaeology of the Mesa Verde region! Our day program will enrich your visit to Mesa Verde National Park, the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum, and other archaeological sites and museums.


To our valued participants: We appreciate your support and welcome your registration in our programs. Given the ongoing uncertainty around social distancing and travel guidelines, we are no longer requiring deposits upon registration. This will allow a smooth process for both our travelers and our organization if it becomes necessary to cancel additional programs due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you have questions about this policy for our Cultural Exploration programs, please contact Tayler Hasbrouck at 970-564-4366 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. With questions about any of our other on-campus programs please contact Laura Brown at 970-564-4346 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About this Program

  1. Overview
  2. Getting Here
  3. Archaeological Ethics
  4. Details

9:00 a.m. Tour begins. Meet in the lobby of the Gates Building on campus.

Morning A hands-on exploration of archaeology and Pueblo history. Visit our lab and curation room, and learn how discoveries are made through the analysis of artifacts.

12:00–1:30 p.m. Enjoy a delicious lunch at our lodge (included in the price). Relax on the lodge deck or hike our nature trail, a one-mile loop through pinyon and juniper woods.

Afternoon Excavation site tour. See archaeologists at work—and learn how Crow Canyon's research is contributing to our understanding of ancestral Pueblo communities in the Mesa Verde region. Learn more about our research.

4:00 p.m. Tour ends. Campus Gift Shop open.

Schedule and activities subject to change

Crow Canyon is located amidst majestic mountains, mesas, and canyons about 4 miles northwest of the town of Cortez in southwestern Colorado. We are 15 miles west of the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park and 40 miles northeast of the Four Corners Monument, where the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet.

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 parking for day tour participants is available in our visitor parking area.

Archaeological Ethics
Crow Canyon’s Archaeology Day Tour includes visiting an archaeological site and 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
Each participant in the Archaeology Day Tour should bring a water bottle. Sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses are highly recommended. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Rain gear might come in handy during the monsoon season (July and August).

Campus and Gift Shop
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.

Crow Canyon is a center of learning for children, teens, and adults. You may be sharing the campus, including the dining hall, with people of different ages enrolled in a variety of programs, including school group programs (grades 4 through 12).

Crow Canyon’s small gift shop carries a variety of reasonably priced items, including books and Crow Canyon logo items. All proceeds help support Crow Canyon’s programs.

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.

Cancellation Policy
No cancellation penalty is incurred if you cancel more than 24 hours prior to your tour. The full amount will be charged to your credit card for a cancellation made less than 24 hours in advance or if you do not attend. To cancel, call 800.422.8975, ext. 454.

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

How to Reserve Day Tour


Register for a Day Tour

Tuition per person (includes lunch on campus)

Adults (ages 18+): $60
Children (ages 10 to 17): $35
Minimum age: 10.

If the tour you would like to reserve is full, please call our enrollment office at 800.422.8975, ext. 454. We may be able to accommodate you, based on transportation and staff availability.

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

  [email protected]

"The dig site was very exciting, and talking to the head archaeologist was awesome."

Megan, 2011
Read/Leave a review on TripAdvisor!

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.