Colorado Vacations 
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Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
Archeology in Colorado with the Kids
From ghost towns to cliff dwellings, to ancient mammoth hunting sites, Colorado's archeology offers families a rich variety of places to learn about the people who came before us.

Archeology can be one of the most interesting and most educational activities you can do with your kids, and Colorado has great archaeological sites to explore.

One of the best places to start is in the southwest corner of the state.

The area is known to have the richest concentration of archaeological sites in America.

Hiking with kids off Independence Pass, Colorado

Photo: Independence Pass, in the central Colorado mountains, offers great hiking opportunities for families. 

Read our Article - Recommended Trip: Independence Pass

Photo: Spruce Tree House, in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, sits tucked in a canyon behind the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum. This is one of the few sites that is open for visitors year round.

cattered throughout the mining regions of Colorado, rickety old head frames mark the mouths of abandoned gold and silver mines. In nearby valleys, rusty metal siding creaks and bangs in the breeze. A storefront’s dusty windows stare vacantly into space.  In grassy meadows, elderly cabins list near skeletal barns, whispering of once prosperous cattle ranches. Blue and purple tinted glass shards and nails with square heads litter the ground. For an archeologist, each piece has a story to tell. Colorado is famous for its ghost towns.

And then there are the homes of the Ancients –  ghost towns in another league. Stone walls and towers, religious structures, store rooms, and sleeping rooms make these ghost towns seem more like castles than villages. The evidence of dams, reservoirs, and irrigation projects, plus long roads and trade goods from far away lands lets us know the people who lived here were sophisticated and savvy.

And even before them, people wandered around Colorado who could bring down beasts larger than elephants with their spears. All we have are their stone projectile points still buried within the fossilized rib cages of their prey to tell us of their ingenuity and nerve.

The first pioneers in the west arrived more than 10,000 years before the folks in covered wagons, and the land is littered with their campsites, towns, hunting blinds, farm terraces, and artwork.

The people who came before us fascinate us because we know so little about them – only hints from their artifacts. Yet it is surprising how much they have to teach us about ourselves. Archeology adventures can be some of the most satisfying outings you’ll ever take with your kids.

Related Articles:

Mesa Verde National Park

Recommended Trip: Trail of the Ancients

Recommended Trip: Independence Pass

Directory: Colorado’s National Parks