Canyons Of The Ancients
More than 6,000 archaeological sites have been recorded at Canyon of the Ancients. Photo by Graeme Churchard/Flickr.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, in southwest Colorado, contains some of the highest known densities of archaeological sites in the nation—averaging more than 100 sites per square mile. Cliff dwellings, villages, shrines, petroglyphs, kivas, agricultural fields and other ancient artifacts offer unparalleled opportunities to observe, preserve, study and interpret the cultures of the American Southwest spanning thousands of years.
Since Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado was established in 2000, we have been at the forefront of conserving the monument’s unique archaeological sites. Over the years, we’ve helped the monument protect more than 7,850 acres within its boundaries.
In 2012, we acquired an two additional parcels totaling 1,240 acres along Yellow Jacket Creek, with plans for the Bureau of Land Management to ultimately purchase and hold the land. Our previous work helped add the largest and most critical private inholding, as well as Jackson’s Castle (first photographed by Willian Henry Jackson in 1874) and the Skywatcher Site, a 1,000-year old Ancestral Puebloan solstice marker.
“These land purchases are a very worthwhile and much needed investment,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar of the Fund’s work. “The properties being brought into public ownership are remarkable for their extraordinary natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, and historical value. Their acquisition will benefit the American people now and in the future.”