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Colorado > Colorado Community Areas > Mancos Area
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Mancos Area

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Mancos State Park- This state park lies in the high country of the southern San Juan Mountains in the southwestern corner of Colorado.
Mancos-Dolores Ranger District- Mancos-Dolores is the western most ranger district in the San Juan National Forest and contains portions of the Mancos and Dolores Rivers. The town of Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park are located to the south of this area.
Mesa Verde National Park- Mesa Verde National Park, in the southwestern corner of Colorado, is home to evidence of ancient civilizations. It is the only National Park dedicated to the works of prehistoric man.

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General Information

Description - The small town of Mancos (population approximately 1,200) is surrounded by BLM lands, Mesa Verde National Park and the Southern Ute Indian Reservation to the south. The nearby town of Cortez is the service center for the area.

Attractions - Mancos is located eight miles from the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park, one of the richest archaeological areas in the United States. North of Mancos lies the San Juan Mountains and National Forest and Mancos State Recreation Area. The Mancos River leads south through town into the canyon lands. Dolores and McPhee Reservoir lie to the northwest.

Recreation - Visitors have easy access to Mesa Verde National Park, as well as a host of other activities including scenic driving, hiking and camping in the San Juan Mountains, and boating on McFee Reservoir.

Climate - In the summer, daytime temperatures range from 85 to 100 degrees F, dropping to 55 to 65 F at night. In the winter months, the temperatures may reach a high of 50 degrees F. Average precipitation is about 18 inches annually.

Location - Mancos lies between Cortez and Durango on U.S. Highway 160 in southwestern Colorado. Colorado Highway 182 connects Mancos with the small city of Dolores and the large McPhee reservoir to the northwest.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Robert Galin (Mancos, CO)
Number of People Encountered: 25-50 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Mancos has close to 2,000 people (not 900), and there are three Ute tribes: Mancos does have some Southern Ute lands nearby, but it is the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe's reservation that encompasses much of the Indian-administered lands in the area. In fact, Ute Mountain borders Mesa Verde National Park on three sides. Mancos has a number of natural and near-natural areas in several directions. The La Plata Mountains to east-northeast are the primary range you see from town. There are substantial hiking and camping opportunities all over the area, as well as some great four-wheel-drive roads through the San Juan National Forest (wait for the snow to melt). There are campgrounds up La Plata Canyon (from Hesperus) and the Transfer Campground closer to Mancos State Park. West of town is both Mesa Verde and substantial BLM land. The BLM land is open for hiking, in most cases. Mancos State Park has rustic camping (new pit toilets, no showers, on both sides of the small lake, which is popular for fishing. It's a no-wake lake, but even f20-plus-foot sailboats have been launched there (there's even ice fishing in the winter). The park also has two yurts available for year-round camping. They are a good base for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Filed By: Brad Cole (Farmington, NM)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We took the jeep and turned off at the Echo Basin road and drove several miles up into the mountians. Beautiful scenery with lots of snow. Signs of old mining activity. We plan to explore other camp ground locations in the area, such as Target Tree, etc.

More Information

Contact Information:
Visitor Center - Mancos Valley, 171 Railroad Avenue , Mancos, CO, 81328, Phone: 970-533-7434

Additional Information:
Colorado Community Areas - Colorado's diverse communities include metropolitan areas, posh ski resorts and rustic mountain towns.


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