This Quirky Small Town In Colorado Is An Uncrowded Place To Stay By A National Park

Colorado is a state that has something for every type of traveler, from rock climbers to lovers of art and music. You can explore big cities with bustling nightlife or relax in picturesque small towns like Mancos that make you feel as though you've wandered onto the set of an old Western film. The entire state is a dream come true for nature lovers. The majestic Rocky Mountains run right through the heart of the region and offer ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and incredible outdoor climbing adventures. Iconic ski towns are perfect for fun-filled winter vacations. There really is something for everyone visiting Colorado, and Mancos is no exception. With plenty of ways to enjoy art, history, and natural beauty, it makes an ideal vacation destination. 

No trip to colorful Colorado is complete without visiting some of the breathtaking national parks, and Mancos is located minutes away from one of the state's most popular — Mesa Verde National Park. It is visited by nearly half a million travelers each year and is famous for the incredible Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings. During the summer months, Mesa Verde is at its busiest, and accommodations within the park are limited. If you're looking for somewhere to stay as you explore the beautiful area, check out the adorable town of Mancos, known as the "Gateway to Mesa Verde." 

Experience authentic Western charm

Mancos is a picturesque Western town located under ten miles from the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. Despite its close proximity to the iconic national park, it has somehow managed to stay somewhat under the radar. The laid-back and underrated small town, has plenty of amazing attractions to keep you busy during your stay. 

The town of Mancos was originally established in 1894. Before that, it was inhabited by cattle ranchers and Indigenous peoples. Soon after the town was established it became an important spot for trade. Major railways stopped by on their way further west, and Mancos provided many of the supplies and food for mining camps. Over the last century, Mancos hasn't changed much and the historic downtown oozes with vintage charm. The town motto is "Where the West Still Lives". Around 1,300 people call Mancos home. Over 150 of the residents are registered artists and the community is known for its vibrant art scene. Local businesses thrive, and it's not uncommon to see a local riding a horse through the center of town on their way to the grocery store, coffee shop, or brewery.

Planning your trip to Mancos

Since it only takes about five minutes to drive to the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park from Mancos, it's an ideal place to stay if you're planning on exploring all of the incredible hikes and sights the park offers. You can choose between a few different accommodations right in the heart of town. Mesa Verde Motel offers a boutique experience with artfully decorated rooms with a Western flair. There are double rooms, king rooms, and one suite for families. Room 13 stands apart from the rest with a unique galaxy-inspired theme. All rooms come with locally-made shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and lotions. There is a cute coffee shop onsite where you can grab a bite before you head out to explore. 

Mancos Inn and Hostel offers private rooms as well as dorm beds perfect for budget-minded backpackers. Starry Nights Ranch Bed and Breakfast is located in a beautiful natural setting with cute rustic decor, cozy rooms, and a private cabin. Airbnb is a great place to find private vacation rentals if you're traveling with a group. Options range from cool cabins to luxurious yurts. While you're in Mancos, make sure to check out the local businesses. Grab a local beer at Mancos Brewing Company or a cocktail at Columbine Bar, which is one of the oldest bars in the state. Mancos Creative District is a wonderful place to see the work of local artisans at any of the shops and galleries.