Sundance Bear Lodge
Plan ahead — trail ride of your lifetime at Mesa Verde 25 May 2015, 3:59 pm
Mesa Verde Foundation is pleased to be offering its second benefit ride within Mesa Verde National Park on Thursday, September 10. Experience the spectacular views of the western part of the park in all its autumn glory. This year we are headed to another section of the park near Wetherill Mesa.
The Long Mesa ride offers a rare opportunity to enjoy a day on horseback with interpretive rangers as we explore a part of the park not on any regular tourist trail. Limited to 25 participants, riders will meet at the entrance road to Wetherill Mesa at 8 a.m. and follow a trail down Long Mesa for an 8-hour ride. At the end of Long Mesa, riders will stop to enjoy a scrumptious catered gourmet lunch prepared by Absolute Bakery out of Mancos. On the way back, there will be a special visit and tour of Spring House, a spectacular unexcavated cliff dwelling.
The price of the ride is $500 per person ($450 is a contribution to MVF). Riders may bring their own horses or rent horses through Rimrock Outfitters in Mancos (additional $200/day). Riders must be experienced enough and able to ride over rugged terrain and trails.
No stabling of horses is allowed in the park, but arrangements can be made to keep horses overnight at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, just outside of Cortez. Sundance Bear Lodge is a Mancos B&B that welcomes riders and horses as well. The ride will occur rain or shine.
For details or to register send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ben Duke, Ride Coordinator for Mesa Verde Foundation, at 303-771-1555.
Proceeds from the ride benefit Mesa Verde Foundation and its work to preserve and enhance the many treasures at Mesa Verde.
A Perfect day in Mancos (& the Southwest) 22 Apr 2015, 10:31 am
A perfect day in Mancos ……
First and foremost a visitor needs to know that Mancos is the Gateway to Mesa Verde National Park – the only national park dedicated to human culture. The Anasazi Indians of the 1200s lived in the 4 Corners from about 500 -1280 and they created the magnificent solar condominiums that are alcove sites in the park. Four such sites are open to the public in the summer but there is more to see in and around Mesa Verde.
National Geographic teamed up with Trail of the Ancients throughout the 4 Corners to create a 2 sided map that highlights numerous things to see and places to go. The map is for sale at various visitor centers in Dolores, Cortez, and Mancos. Visitors who stay in Mancos are poised to enjoy a variety of day trips within 2 hours of town. For those who find archaeology captivating, they can visit Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruin in New Mexico and Hovenweep in both Colorado and Utah. The Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores is a great “prep course” for those who don’t know what to expect at the national park!
Outside of archaeology but still within the 2 hour zone a visitor can enjoy Telluride, best known as a winter ski town, and Durango which hosts a 4 year college called Fort Lewis, the Durango Silverton narrow gauge railroad, and skiing at Durango Mountain. Everywhere people are riding bicycles – on the roads, on the mountain trails, and specially designed locales like Phil’s World near Cortez. No matter what type of riding you enjoy, visitors will find it in the 4 Corners! Because of the variation in elevation this is the best place to train!
If a guest would prefer to let a horse do all the work – Mancos has outfitters with good quality horses. The mountains look especially wonderful from the back of a horse! By the way, if you see cowboys moving a herd of cattle along the US highway – they have the right-of-way.
Downtown Mancos is a village at heart with the personality of an artist. Two galleries are artist co-ops. Another gallery was started by Veryl and Roger Goodnight when they moved to Mancos from Santa Fe. Veryl is a well known bronze artist who prefers to create pioneer women and animals rather than the typical cowboy/Indian pieces of many western artists.
The Mancos Arts Council sponsors at least one studio tour during the summer, giving visitors a chance to see artists at work. The Mesa Verde Foundation also cooperates with the national park and selects a day early in the season when a few plein aire artists have access to special park locations to spend a day creating new paintings. Their creations are then auctioned to benefit the national park!
To balance this list of things to do – are a sufficient number of places to eat breakfast, lunch, and supper. We always suggest that folks eat a hearty breakfast so they have a choice about stopping mid-day for lunch. Sometimes the day gets so busy that stopping for lunch would be an inconvenience! Carrying a sandwich along is a time efficient way to handle lunch. Mancos has three places for supper – and the national park has one; the variety is good.
So it is difficult to describe one perfect day, because it depends what your tastes are, who you are traveling with, and when you decide to come to the 4 Corners. All seasons are worthwhile – but very different. Just get started and plan to come back regularly! What we know for sure it that guests need to plan at least one more day than is initially planned. You won’t regret it!
News from Mesa Verde! The season begins! 27 Mar 2015, 1:22 pm
|2015 Special Hikes and Tours Tickets Selling Fast
Mesa Verde National Park is offering a series of unique ranger-guided educational experiences in 2015. Tickets for these special hikes are limited and must be purchased online at www.recreation.gov. These special programs often sell out, so sign up now to avoid disappointment.
Ranger-guided hikes and programs include a 2-hour hike to Oak Tree House offered weekly during the summer, a 2-hour hike to Square Tower House offered in spring and fall, and a half-day hike on Wetherill Mesa.
In addition, tickets for Twilight Tours of Cliff Palace, which feature a historical figure from the past, and the Photography Tour at Cliff Palace will be offered on-line. For reservations or more information, visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.
Sure signs that spring has arrived in Mesa Verde include expanding hours of operation for the park’s Visitor Center and Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, the conversion of Spruce Tree House from ranger-guided tours to self-guided touring. We are pleased to report that all these seasonal conversions have occurred!
Here are some more dates to look forward to:
A reminder that ranger-guided tours of Cliff Palace will begin a few weeks later than in past years so that park archeologists can complete the first phase of extensive preservation work this spring on this internationally recognized treasure. Learn more about this multi-year project at http://www.nps.gov/meve/learn/news/
Our thanks to Mesa Verde Association for the update!
Mesa Verde visitor services decided 3 Nov 2014, 4:36 pm
This report from Mesa Verde –
The National Park Service has selected incumbent ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, LLC to provide a variety of visitor services in Mesa Verde National Park for the next 10 years. The new park concessions contract is anticipated to begin January 2015 and includes lodging, campground, food and beverage, retail, tour, kennel, fuel, and other visitor services within the park.
Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer said, “ARAMARK has successfully operated the concession in the park for the last 33 years, and we look forward to continuing this successful working relationship in the future.”
The new contract includes a minimum franchise fee of 6.5 % that will be returned to the government each year based on annual gross receipts. The contract also includes a repair and maintenance reserve of 3.4 %. The annual gross receipts are expected to be approximately $7,000,000.
The competitive process for the concessions contract was initiated December 9, 2013, with the release of a prospectus. All offers had to be submitted to the agency by April 2, 2014. An evaluation panel of National Park Service and technical experts outside Mesa Verde National Park performed a comprehensive analysis of the proposals and selected the best responsive proposal based on factors identified in the prospectus.
ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment, LLC provides a variety of visitor services in several national and state parks across the country.
News from Mesa Verde — Sept 2014 18 Sep 2014, 3:16 pm
Free Sculpting Program with Mesa Verde National Park Artist-in-Residence Hal Stewart
Mesa Verde National Park welcomes bronze sculptor Hal Stewart as its fourth Artist-In-Residence of 2014. Hal will conduct a free interactive presentation and demonstration of his work for the public on Thursday, Sept 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Far View Lodge Library. Attendees will be able to watch this sculptor attach clay to his armature (a framework upon which a sculpture is molded), calculate proper proportions of the body, and add details to his creation. One of Hal’s sculptures and a mold used for casting bronzes will be available for viewing.
An Arizona-based sculptor, Hal is known for the movement and minute details in his creations. He was recently honored with a one-man sculptor exhibit at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona. One of his sculptures, “Yaqui Deer Dancer,” is part of the museum’s permanent collection. Hal is also a member of the prestigious Western Artists of America.
Hal spent his working career in construction industry sales and management selling concrete, asphalt, sand, and gravel. Having also been a farmer and rancher in Arizona, he is familiar with his subjects of Native Americans, cowboys, horse, birds, and other animals. He has met with tribal officials and visited animal sanctuaries to obtain authentic details for his work.
Hal will be in residence from Sept 15 through 27. During your visit at Mesa Verde National Park, you may see Hal somewhere in the park sculpting or sketching. Stop by, visit with this personable sculptor, and watch him sculpt.
Mesa Verde National Park’s AIR program provides professional artists the opportunity to become part of a long established tradition of artists creating art in our national parks. The AIR program is managed for the park by the nonprofit Mesa Verde Museum Association. This year’s artists were selected from 65 applicants by a jury of four consisting of a park ranger and three professional artists. Learn more at www.nps.gov/meve/supportyourpark/artists_in_residence.htm
Better way to Stay: B&B! 26 Aug 2014, 2:37 pm
ROOM PRICE + FEES?
Hotels and motels made news this week, and they may not be happy with the coverage. Hidden fees were the topic. Name it and they found a way to create a fee. Hotels and motels, instead of continuing their efforts to follow, and compete with bed and breakfasts, have chosen to follow the airline industry, which is fee-happy.
Hotels as a group will capture $2.25 billion from travelers – up 6% from 2013 –in fees that are tacked onto room costs, according to an AP story. Wow – that’s a lot of profit. Despite the appeal of profit, that’s not how most B&Bs will treat the traveler. Can you believe that hotels still charge for internet access? In this day and age, that’s like charging to breathe the air! And how about a fee for printing the traveler’s boarding pass? Not at a B&B! We call that service.
Here’s a sample of the fees mentioned in the wire story. Need to drop of luggage before check-in or pick it up after check out? Instead of $1/bag , expect this to be a free service at a B&B. One San Diego hotel left snacks and drinks readily available, which confuses the question of free or charge. Here at Sundance Bear we have a buffet counter with snacks and drinks that are free for guests. We don’t bother with the expensive minibar in the room; minibars are not for guest’s convenience –they are for the hotel to make money! Our two lodge rooms share one refrigerator that they can use any way that they require for free. We know folks often have sandwich makings for the next day and need to keep these items cold. Plus at 7000 feet everyone wants cold water for their next day in the sunshine!
Hotels also expect or require tips – but B&Bs do not. It is as simple as that. Occasionally guests leave a tip, and it is always a pleasant surprise.
The room you reserve is the room you will get, because our rooms are one of a kind. Hotels have multiples, and although they could guaranty your room, some hotels are now choosing to charge extra to do it! Parking fees are another extra cost. Some do it because they can – not because they need to in order to control who uses their parking spaces. At Sundance Bear all parking is free – even if you bring your 4 horse trailer pulled by an F250.
Granted not all B&Bs across the country have 80+ acres to enjoy and share, but most will still emphasize “share” rather than “charge” no matter what size they are.
Sundance Bear Lodge is a country B&B near Mancos, Colorado in Mesa Verde Country. We are one of 5 B&Bs in the Mancos area. And yes, guests can travel with Fido or Trigger when they stay at Sundance Bear! Serving the traveling public in three buildings, we offer a choice of 2 B&B rooms in the lodge, a log cabin with a B&B option, and a self cater guest house. There’s a building to suit the guest’s style of travel. For the lodge room guests we prepare a hot breakfast each morning between 7:30-9a.m. The busy season is May – October, so expect winter rates to be lower. Mesa Verde is open all year. Please visit us on the web at www.sundancebear.com.
We’d love to hear from you!
Sue and Bob Scott, hosts & owners
Upcoming tour: Canyon of the Ancients 23 Aug 2014, 8:43 am
Geology Tour with Dr. Kim
Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance is proud to present Stepping through the Ages, a geologic tour of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument with Dr. Kim Gerhardt, on Sat, October 4. This will be a two-part informational field trip: the morning will be a hike in the lower Sand Canyon area with an afternoon of indoor presentation at the historic Battle Rock School. You may register for either or both sessions.
Dr. Gerhardt earned her Ph.D. in Geology from Rice University in 1989 and has worked extensively on petroleum, uranium, and reservoir geology projects. She has been instrumental in understanding the archaeology of the Four Corners region through her research on lithic toolstone sources.
You must be a current member of Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance to join us for this special trip.
Please contact Diane McBride at email@example.com or 970-560-1643, by Thurs, September 25, 5 p.m., if you would like to join us in better understanding the geologic history of our incredible Monument.
National Parks are a huge benefit to Mancos, Cortez 26 Jul 2014, 11:06 am
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 460,237 visitors to Mesa Verde in 2013 spent $45.089 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 617 jobs in the local area.
National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).
The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
To download the report, visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Colorado and how the National Park Service works with Colorado communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/colorado.
All we can say – is Thank you!!!! And come again!
Walk the land — fall in love with Mancos 16 Jul 2014, 1:49 pm
Do you find yourself dreaming about owning a private retreat in the beautiful Colorado Mountains? Here is your opportunity to do just that. We moved from California to Mancos in 1997 and never looked back. The slower pace of life is healthy! In order to help you do the same, we have three legally defined lots on the back half of our 86 acres that are now listed for sale. What a temptation.
All of the key info is on the lots for sale page of this web site — here are a few of the important points. The 13 acre view lot looks into Cassidy Canyon and has a view of the LaPlata Mtns to the east. This is pinion/juniper forest. The 27 acre lot faces south and west with views of Mesa Verde and the Sleeping Ute. It’s half canyon and half pinion/juniper. Each lot has a water tap.
The most recent listing is the Sundance Bear guest house on 8 acres. Our guests have loved this 1700 sq ft house for about 14 years. The kitchen/dining room has a wonderful view of the LaPlatas to the east. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy your morning coffee just sitting on the deck under the awning. 3 large bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms — all on 1 floor. Walk out basement serves as garage and laundry. The floor plan is on www.sundancebear.com along with a variety of photos. We have painted with some wonderful southwestern colors and provided beds for 9. It is a very comfortable home. What would you do with it?
We have used an electric kitchen all these years but it is plumbed for gas, if that’s what you prefer. The new granite counters will be installed this week (late July).
So there you are. Two lots where you can build a dream house and the guest house ready to occupy in the fall. Isn’t it time to move to Colorado at least part of the year? Come and walk the ground — Fall in love with Mancos, Co.!
Road closure July 9 4 Jul 2014, 5:05 pm
Highway 184 — between Mancos and Sundance Bear — will be closed between 6pm and 6a.m.
on July 9. This means travelers should have dinner in Dolores before coming to SBL. OK to have LUNCH in Durango — but not OK to think dinner is OK.
Plan your day to come from Cortez or Dolores to Sundance Bear Lodge on the evening of the 9th!