Welcome to Mancos and the Wild West – founded in 1894 in the heart of the Mancos river valley between Mesa Verde and the La Plata mountains. Just 4 miles southeast of our lodge, Mancos enjoys spectacular scenery and four seasons.
This is a town where: you park in front of the business you plan to visit -- with NO parking meters. You can get a custom made hat. You can stop and talk to a friend in the middle of the street! No one looks surprised when horses are ridden through town, pushing cattle from winter to summer pastures. Slow down and enjoy life more in Mancos – where the west still lives.
Enjoy a day in Mancos – take a walk through a town of historic buildings. The artists' co-op is in the old Bauer Bank Building, and the Bauer House is a historic Victorian that has served many purposes over the decades. Wonderful art galleries now dot the town - bronzes, painting, weaving, wood turning, photography, pottery, iron forging, the list goes on.
A short 5 miles out of town, visit Mancos State Park where you can devote a day to catching Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout (Jackson Gulch Reservoir) and explore miles of the San Juan National Forest. Rangers typically host campground programs at the park in the summer. In winter, cross country ski at Chicken Creek Cross Country Ski Area. In summer enjoy a horseback ride or pack trip with a local outfitter in the high country.
Events of note in Mancos are the spring dog sled races, the Follies at the Millwood, the July Renaissance Fair and Mancos Days, the fall Balloon Fest and early December's Olde Fashioned Christmas celebration
And for you foodies, here is a Durango Herald photo look at the eating establishments in Mancos.
The Wetherill families were ranchers who helped settle the Mancos Valley, set up trading posts, and stepped into history when they "discovered" and explored the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. The Wetherills were out rounding up stray cows. Local tribes knew all about the alcove sites - just didn't have any reason to tell the cowboys.
The promotion, touring and publicity by the Wetherills resulted in the establishment of Mesa Verde National Park in 1906. Mancos has trademarked the slogan "Gateway to Mesa Verde."
In the 1870s, the community's historic roots were ranching, farming and timber. Ranching became the dominant economic force in the area as Mancos fed the miners around the 4 Corners. Main street is still a block long.