Trail Canyon Ranch and Around

Trail Canyon Ranch and Around

It was a 270 mile journey from Santa Fe to Trail Canyon Ranch. This was in the Four Corners Area – where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet – and we had found it, once more, on VRBO.

The journey was through the wide open spaces of New Mexico and Colorado and the scenery, if not spectacular, was well worth looking at.

Chimney Rock, Colorado

Chimney Rock, Colorado

The ranch is owned by a delightful couple who are running it virtually as a nature reserve.

Our casita at Trail Canyon (and our hire car)

Our casita at Trail Canyon (and our hire car)

The business part of the ranch is a tree nursery – if you want a tree in the Four Corners, David is your man! There is a lot more to the ranch, however. There is a waterfall

Chris at the waterfall in Trail Canyon

Chris at the waterfall in Trail Canyon

and various archaeological sites.

Potsherds at Trail Canyon Ranch

Potsherds at Trail Canyon Ranch

The site where we photographed the picture above, has never been investigated and as you walk over the ground you find yourself stepping on 500 year old pottery. Trail Canyon is a wonderful spot!

Trail Canyon Ranch

Trail Canyon Ranch

Nearby are several sites associated with the Anasazi, whom we met in a previous post. My next post will be about Mesa Verde, which is the most spectacular, but in this one I will show what we found in Hovenweep National Monument and in the Canyons of the Ancients – fascinating sites which scarcely anyone has heard of.

Hovenweep is actually in Utah but it is very close to the Colorado border. It is a shallow canyon with an astounding array of ancient buildings.

Hovenweep Castle

Hovenweep Castle - a name given by the site administrators

It is said to have the most sophisticated masonry of any of the Anasazi settlements.

The Square Tower at Hovenweep

The Square Tower at Hovenweep

Like all the other settlements it was abandoned about 1550.

Hovenweep House

Hovenweep House

The people lived in or near the canyon but their “fields” were on the flat land of the mesas.

Chris looking at the Twin Towers, Hovenweep

Chris looking at the Twin Towers, Hovenweep

To build their dwellings they often took advantage of the natural shapes in their surroundings.

The Eroded Boulder House and the Twin Towers, Hovenweep

The Eroded Boulder House and the Twin Towers, Hovenweep

It is difficult to imagine living in such desert conditions; it must have been a tough life. Eventually they gave up and moved to the valleys of the Rio Grande and the Little Colorado River. This was about 1300AD.

A similar story can be told in “The Canyons of the Ancients” which is quite close to Trail Canyon. We had a walk through the area, keeping a wary eye out for the mountain bikers who love the area.

Chris enters the Canyons of the Ancients

Chris enters the Canyons of the Ancients

Here there are no spectacular sites; but all around there is evidence that people lived here and left their mark.

Ancient dwelling in overhang, Canyons of the Ancients

Ancient dwelling in overhang, Canyons of the Ancients

Another dwelling in an overhang

Another dwelling in an overhang

Home, sweet home. Canyons of the Ancients

Home, sweet home. Canyons of the Ancients

However not everything is bleak. There is beauty to be found, if you look carefully.

Flowers blooming in the desert

Flowers blooming in the desert

But the main attraction in the area is Mesa Verde which will be the subject of the next post.

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