After visiting Hovenweep & the Canyons of the Ancients, we headed towards Cortez, Colorado, our pitstop for the night before visiting Mesa Verde the following morning.
This part of Colorado is not well trafficked so we had the road mostly to ourselves. Near Hovenweep, the landscape was desolate and looked a bit like a moonscape (except for the newly paved road, of course :).
Eventually more shrubbery and green-colored hills came into view.
And then there was even a hint of red.
The skies began to cloud over as we headed into the outskirts of Cortez.
And here’s a taste of small-town Colorado. Apparently horses and dogs have an equitable share of the road.
The drive from Hovenweep to Cortez was quite nice. The 2-lane roads brought us through and by desolate rocky terrain, relatively lush valleys (as much as it can be called “lush” in Colorado’s very dry climate) and rolling hills.
Cortez, however, is a bit of an eyesore with its industrial buildings and heaps of trashy billboard-type signs. Other than being a great place to stay the night when you’re visiting Mesa Verde, don’t plan on spending much time here.
Here’s our driving route Hovenweep to Cortez. I think it took us about 1.5 hours.
View Drive from Hovenweep to Cortez, Colorado in a larger map