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Ute Mountain - 12 Things to Know Before Visiting

1 Day Treks
Mountain Peaks

About Ute Mountain

Ute Mountain is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The mountain is part of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and has an elevation of 12,721 feet. The mountain is named for the Ute people, who inhabited the area prior to European settlement. Ute Mountain is known for its stunning views and extensive hiking trails. The mountain is home to a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and black bears. Ute Mountain is a popular destination for camping, picnicking, and sightseeing.

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Things to Do at Ute Mountain

This picturesque spot is perfect for hiking, biking, picnicking, and more. In the summer months, visitors can enjoy fishing in the many lakes and streams located throughout the area. Ute Mountain is also home to a variety of wildlife, making it a great place for birdwatching and wildlife watching. And no visit to Ute Mountain would be complete without exploring the ancient ruins of the Mesa Verde National Park.

History of Ute Mountain

Ute Mountain is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It is the largest mountain in the state and is a popular destination for hikers and climbers. The summit of Ute Mountain is 12,713 feet above sea level. The mountain is part of the La Plata Mountains range and is surrounded by other peaks such as Sleeping Ute Mountain, Hesperus Mountain, and Animas Mountain. The first recorded ascent of Ute Mountain was made by a group of miners in 1869. Since then, the mountain has been climbed frequently, with routes ranging from easy to extremely difficult. Today, Ute Mountain remains a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world.

Best Time to Visit Ute Mountain

The best time to visit Ute Mountain in Montezuma County, Colorado is from mid-June to early August. During this time, the days are longest and the weather is warm and sunny, making it ideal for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. However, late August through September is also a good time to visit, as the fall colors are at their peak. 

Tips for Visiting Ute Mountain

  1. Be prepared for the altitude. The town of Cortez is 7,500 feet above sea level, and the surrounding mountains are even higher. If you're not used to being at high altitudes, you may experience dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. Be sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy for the first few days until your body adjusts.
  2. Ute Mountain is located in a remote area, so it's important to be prepared before you go. Make sure you have enough food and water for the trip, and be sure to pack a map and compass in case you get lost.
  3. Start early. The hike to the top of Ute Mountain is strenuous, and the trail gets very crowded later in the day. Getting an early start will help you beat the crowds and avoid having to turn back because you ran out of time.
  4. Know your limits. Choose a hike that is within your abilities, and don't push yourself too hard. Remember that you're in it for the long haul - there's no need to hurry!

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Ute Mountain

  1. The Ute Mountains, with a collective profile commonly known as "The Sleeping Ute", are a dense cluster of peaks approximately 5 by 12 miles in extent and stand in isolation from other mountains.
  2. Despite being much lower than Colorado's highest peaks, Ute Mountain is the eighth most topographically prominent peak in the state, due to this isolation.
  3. The Ute Mountains were formed by the intrusion of igneous rocks at about 72 million years (Late Cretaceous), concurrent doming, and subsequent erosion.
  4. Ute Mountain was named after the Ute tribe of Native Americans, who have lived in the area for centuries. 

How to Reach Ute Mountain

The most popular way is to take Highway 160 west from Cortez. This road will take you right to the base of the mountain. Another option is to take Highway 145 north from Cortez. This road will take you through the town of Dolores before reaching Ute Mountain. Finally, you can take Highway 184 east from Cortez. This road will take you through the town of Mancos before reaching Ute Mountain. 

Entrance Fee of Ute Mountain

The entrance fee for Ute Mountain is $3 per person or $5 per vehicle. This fee helps to maintain the park and keep it accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Opening Hours of Ute Mountain

Ute Mountain is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Attractions Near Ute Mountain

Yucca House National Monument

Yucca House National Monument

8.99km from Ute Mountain

Yucca House National Monument is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It was established as a National Monument in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt. The monument consists of a large number of Ancestral Puebloan ruins, including the largest concentration of masonry dwellings in the Southwest United States. The site is believed to have been occupied between 1050 and 1300 AD. Today, the monument is open to the public for tours and educational programs.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

16.05km from Ute Mountain

The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is dedicated to understanding and protecting the heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people. The center is located, on the site of a former Anasazi village. Today, the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is open to the public and offers a variety of educational programs and tours. The center also conducts research on the Anasazi and other Native American tribes in the region.

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The monument consists of canyons, mesas, and other natural features carved by the wind and rain over millions of years. The area is home to a variety of plant and animal life, as well as a rich Native American history. archaeological sites have been found that date back more than 10,000 years. Visitors to the monument can enjoy hiking, camping, picnicking, and birdwatching.

Pipe Shrine House

Pipe Shrine House

24.91km from Ute Mountain

The Pipe Shrine House, located in Montezuma County, Colorado, is a unique and fascinating archaeological site. believed to have been built by the Anasazi people around 1200 AD, the structure is thought to have been used for ceremonial purposes. The most impressive feature of the site is the large number of pipes that have been found inside the home. Many of these pipes are decorated with images of animals, humans, and other symbols.

Spruce Canyon Trail

Spruce Canyon Trail

27.82km from Ute Mountain

Spruce Canyon Trail is located in Montezuma county, Colorado. The trail is 3.8 miles long and features a waterfall and amazing views of the canyon. The trail is rated as moderate and is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Dogs are also welcome on the trail as long as they are kept on a leash. The Spruce Canyon Trail is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.

Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

28km from Ute Mountain

The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum is located in Montezuma County. The museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in the area. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, pottery, and tools that were used by the Ancient Puebloans. The museum also offers tours of the nearby ruins of Mesa Verde National Park. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum is a great place to learn about the Ancient Puebloan people and their way of life.

Discover More Attractions in Montezuma County, Home of Ute Mountain

Montezuma County

Montezuma County

13 attractions

Montezuma County in southwestern Colorado is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state. From the snow-capped peaks of the San Juan Mountains to the red rocks of Mesa Verde National Park, there is no shortage of natural beauty to explore. Not to mention, the county is also home to a wealth of history and culture. A visit to Montezuma County is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Where is Ute Mountain