Trail of the Ancients

National Scenic BywayColorado, Utah

Driving the Byway

In general, Trail of the Ancients forms a double loop through Colorado and Utah, with spurs radiating out to various sites along the way. The description below starts at Four Corners and follows the byway route counterclockwise.

Colorado Section

  • From the Four Corners area in Colorado, follow US-160 going northeast, until you reach the intersection with SR-41.
  • At the intersection of US-160 and SR-41, you can turn northwest to follow SR-41 to the Utah border, or continue northeast on US-160.
  • Continue northeast on US-160 to the intersection with US-491.
  • Travel north on US-160/US-491 to the city of Cortez. Turn right (east) on Main Street/US-160.
  • Continue on US-160 to the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park.
  • Stop and retrace the route back to the junction of US-160 and SR-145 in Cortez.
  • Turn right (north) onto SR-145/County Rd 27/State St.
  • Travel northeast to the intersection with County Rd 28/SR-184.
  • Turn left onto County Rd 28/SR-184 and travel northwest and then west on SR-184.
  • Follow SR-184 to the intersection with US-491/N Broadway in Lewis.
  • Turn right onto N Broadway/US-491 and travel northwest.
  • Follow US-491 through Lewis and Yellow Jacket until it intersects with County Rd CC in Pleasant View.
  • Turn left (west) onto County Rd CC.
  • Travel west on County Rd CC to its intersection with County Rd 10 near Lowry Pueblo.
  • Turn left (south) onto County Rd 10.
  • Follow County Rd 10 to the Colorado/Utah state border. Just across the border the route becomes Hovenweep Rd/County Rd 212.

Utah Section

  • Begin traveling west on Hovenweep Rd/County Rd 212 at the Colorado/Utah border.
  • Just past Hovenweep National Monument, bear left (southwest) onto County Rd 413 at the intersection of Hovenweep Rd and County Rd 413.
  • Follow County Rd 413 until it intersects with Reservation Road/Belitso Rd.
  • Turn right (west) onto Reservation Rd.
  • Follow Reservation Rd until it intersects with Hovenweep Rd.
  • Turn left (west) onto Hovenweep Rd/Indian Route 5099.
  • Drive Hovenweep Rd to where it joins US-262.
  • Continue west on US-262. Follow SR-262 to its T-intersection with US-191 south of White Mesa.
  • At this point, the byway branches both north and south on US-191, the start of the second long loop.
  • Turn right (north) at the junction of US-191 and SR-262. Proceed north through White Mesa to the junction of US-191 and SR-95.
  • Continue north on US-191 through Blanding, until you reach the junction of US-191 and US-491 in Monticello.
  • Turn around and retrace your path to the junction of US-191 and SR-95.
  • Continue on the loop by turning right (south) onto SR-95. Follow it to the junction of SR-261 and SR-95.
  • Continue on SR-95 to SR-275. Turn right (north) onto SR-275 (Natural Bridge Road) and proceed to the entrance of entrance of Natural Bridges National Monument.
  • Retrace your route to the intersection of SR-95 and SR-261.
  • Continue south on the loop by turning right on SR-261.
  • Follow SR-261 to its T-intersection with US-163.
  • Take a right onto US-163 and travel south through Mexican Hat and Halchita to the Utah/Arizona state border and Monument Valley.
  • Turn around and return on US-163 to the intersection with SR-261.
  • Continue the loop north and east on US-163 to the intersection of SR-162 and US-191 just outside Bluff.
  • To complete the second loop, continue on US-191 to return to the intersection with SR-262 south of White Mesa.
  • Otherwise, continue on the first loop by turning right (east) onto SR-162/Mission Rd.
  • Follow SR-162, through Montezuma Creek, to the Utah/Colorado state border where the road becomes SR-41 in Colorado.
  • Complete the loop (and the byway) by continuing to the junction of SR-41 and US-160 in Colorado.