Sundance Bear Lodge

11555 County Road 39 Corner Of Hwy 184 And County Road 39, Mancos, Colorado 81328
Innkeeper(s): Sue & Bob Scott

Fall fun in the 4 Corners 20 Sep 2015, 4:18 pm

Fall is the time when adults love to travel!  It’s not that they don’t like children; most have grandchildren!  But travel is different once the kids of all ages are back in school.  In and around Mesa Verde  the activities that continue are: a ranger guided 1/2 day hike in the Upper Navajo Canyon on Wed and Sun.  to Oct. 5 —- 1/2 day hike on Wetherill Mesa on Tues and Fri through Oct. 3 –Get tickets on line at   Nearby at the Anasazi Heritage Center (Dolores)  there are curation tours each Thurs. through Oct. 30. Reserve your space 970-882-5600 space is limited.


Mancos hosts the hot air balloons on Sept 25-27 along with  an art show/sale. This is a colorful moment  in Mancos each fall.  If you have never gotten up close and personal with a hot air balloon, be sure to stop by Boyle Park!


Durango has a string of fall events like Oktoberfest and the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Oct.1-4). The gathering takes place in the Strater Hotel, where many free performances of cowboy poetry and music are held. Events are also at the DSNGRR, the Durango Arts Center, Rapp Corral and in many local galleries throughout the city.

The community host bicycling all year round. Just picture biking on a crisp fall day as the trees begin to change colors!  Durango also is home to zip lining (check you fear of heights at the start!) and you can be thrilled by the tour through the changing mountain scenery.

Two web sites for the best research on SW Colorado at  and


Sept. balloons and art in Mancos 23 Aug 2015, 5:43 pm

Our thanks to the mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce for the update on the annual balloon festival!


Mancos Valley Balloon & Art Festival schedule of events:

Friday Sept. 25th
6:45 am  Inflation for first flight and Sponsor Rides, in Boyle Park.

4:00 pm  Grand Summer Nights–stores and balloon ride headquarters open on Grand Avenue, in Downtown Mancos.


Saturday Sept. 26th
6:45 am  Inflation for second flight. Tether rides available for $10 per person, weather permitting.  (Boyle Park)

10:00 am – 4:00 pm  Art & Street Fair: Carriage rides, live music, art & food vendors and lot of extra fun, on Grand Avenue.

6:00 pm  ”Pilots & Heroes” BBQ Dinner to take place on Bauer House Lawn, in a comfy, heated tent. Limited seating–get your tickets NOW!  Tickets are $20 per person, and are available at the Mancos Visitors Center and at the Balloon Ride Sales Headquarters on Grand Avenue, next to Olio.

>  Silent Auction inside Bauer House
Music and dancing on the patio
Drawing for the Landowner’s Lottery will take place during dinner. (In Mancos Balloon Fest tradition, landowners that allow balloonists to land on their property are eligible to win a free balloon ride. For more information, call Bobbi at 970-560-0203.)

Sunday Sept. 27th
6:45 am  Inflation for third flight. Tether rides available for $10 per person, weather permitting.  (Boyle Park)

10:00 am – 4:00 pm  Art & Street Fair continues: More carriage rides, children’s train rides, art & food vendors.
7:15 pm  Preparation for the beautiful Balloon Glow event in Boyle Park. Free!


Thank you for supporting the Mancos Valley Balloon Festival & Street Fair!
Proceeds will benefit Operation Second Chance and Medicine Horse Center. 


4 Corners Lectures 27 Jul 2015, 2:16 pm

Four Corners Lecture Series Returns to Mesa Verde

The Four Corners Lecture Series continues this summer. This year’s theme is “It’s About Time,” with several of the lectures focusing on the 25th anniversary of the passage of Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The passage of NAGPRA served as a catalyst for a change in relations between the Native American nations, archeologists, museums, and federal agencies. Mesa Verde National Park illustrates those changes on a world stage in which visitors experience the results of more than two decades of consultation.

Thurday, July 30, 7:00 p.m., Far View Lodge at MVNP; Lara Lloyd will speak about “Race, Science, and Burials: The Impacts of NAGPRA on Mesa Verde.” Lara works summers as an interpretive ranger at Mesa Verde National Park. She holds degrees from Arizona State University (B.A.) and Northern Arizona University (M.A.) and has worked on archeological projects in the Southwest and Belize. Her research interests include human-environmental relations, exchange, and archeological law. In the winter, Lara teaches in the Cultural Science department at Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Tuesday, August 4, 7:00 p.m., Sunflower Theatre, Cortez; R. Kyle Bocinsky will speak about “Can Pueblo Corn Save Ethiopian Farms? Deploying 1,400 Years of Agricultural Knowledge in Service of the Future.”

Wednesday, August 5, 1:30 p.m., Center of Southwest Studies Room 120, Fort Lewis College; Ann Butler will speak about “Bury My Heart at Boot Hill: Death in Southwest Colorado from pre-Hispanic through Victorian Times.”

Thursday, August 13, 7:00 p.m., Far View Lodge at MVNP; Lillian Wakeley will speak about “Preponderance of Evidence: the Intersection of Geology, NAGPRA, and Kennewick Man.”

Wednesday, August 19, 1:30 p.m., Center of Southwest Studies Room 120, Fort Lewis College; Syl Allred will speak about “Blackjacks and Yellowbellies: Walking in Western Ponderosa Pine Forests.”

Thursday, August 20, 7:00 p.m., Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Chris Rasmussen will speak about “Ecology of Southwest Rivers: Form and Function, Restoration and Resilience.”

Saturday, August 22, 2:00 p.m., Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding; Sally Cole will speak about “Birds in Ancestral Pueblo Rock Art and Culture.”

We hope you’ll join us for all of these free programs! This lecture series is generously sponsored by Mesa Verde Foundation, Mesa Verde Museum Association, and Mesa Verde National Park, as well as the Anasazi Heritage Center, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, Bureau of Land Management, Cortez Cultural Center, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum, Fort Lewis College Office of the President, Department of Anthropology, and Center of Southwest Studies, Hisatsinom Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society, KSJD Dryland Community Radio and the Sunflower Theatre, and the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance.  Thanks to the Museum Assoc for the reminder and the text!

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 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 Online 


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 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 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:
April 12: Ranger-guided tours of Balcony House start for the season; Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and Spruce Tree House visiting hours extend to 6:30 p.m.
April 16: Far View Lodge and the Metate Room open for the season
April 18 – 19: Park entrance fees waived in observance of National Parks Week opening weekend
April 30: Morefield Campground opens for the season
May 2: Far View Terrace opens for the season
May 3: Square Tower House hikes begin; purchase tickets now at
Early May: Wetherill Mesa Road opens for the season, weather permitting
May 22: Cliff Palace and Long House ranger-guided tours start for the season
May 26: Oak Tree House hikes begin; purchase tickets now at

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




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




Better way to Stay: B&B! 26 Aug 2014, 2:37 pm



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


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 Gerhardt
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 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.