The beautiful Mancos Valley is home to the small rural community of Mancos, founded in 1894. Located at 7,000 feet between the La Plata Mountains and Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos enjoys spectacular scenery all year round.
While we celebrate the native American roots of 500AD -1300AD, we can’t forget the Old West of cowboys and bad guys! Our roots include ranching, farming and timber industries in the 1870s. Mancos was the bread basket for the miners in the mountains, for example. Cattle drives through the middle of town are a regular part of the spring and fall tradition. The newest agriculture version looks at sustainable farming and features farmers’ markets in Mancos, Cortez and Durango.
The Wetherill family were settlers and ranchers in the Mancos Valley, and their exploration of the Mesa Verde cliffs did much to publicize the Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) cliff dwellings, resulting in the establishment of Mesa Verde National Park in 1906. The town of Mancos is only 7 miles from the entrance and celebrates its role as “Gateway to Mesa Verde.”
Today Mancos has a few historical buildings like the Visitor Center in the Bauer House and the Artisans of Mancos in the Bauer Bank Building. Veryl Goodnight, a world acclaimed artist, has opened a gallery for her bronzes and paintings. Nathaniel makes western hats – each is unique and can be made to fit your unique head!
Other features of the Mancos end of the county include Mancos State Park with Jackson Lake, Chicken Creek Cross Country Ski Area, and miles of the San Juan Forest for horseback riding, hiking and biking. Hook up with a local outfitter for a trail ride and campfire dinner in the high country; the world is quite peaceful when experienced from the back of a horse. How about a stagecoach ride down Weber Canyon?