Mancos: Where the West Still Lives

The Town of Mancos has been named one of “The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit” by Smithsonian Magazine.

“For those who dream of the Wild West, the historic town of Mancos, Colorado, located 10 minutes from the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park, offers a vibrant portrait of this American ideal,” Smithsonian wrote. “A visit to downtown requires navigation among stagecoaches and cattle drives, enabling visitors to see and live the ‘Cowboy Code’ culture,” according to Mesa Verde Country’s Visitor Information Bureau. Smithsonian raves about Mancos’ nationally registered historic district, thriving artisan community and the recreational opportunities that include rafting, kayaking, boating and, of course, Mesa Verde National Park. Smithsonian only ranked two towns ahead of Mancos.

Cattle Drive through Downtown Mancos, Colorado
Louis L'Amour, Master Storyteller of the American West

This is Louis L’Amour country.

For more than six decades, Louis L’Amour created characters who embodied the pioneer spirit and cowboy values of the Old West, becoming one of the most prolific and best-loved Western writers of our time.  Several of his works are set in the Mancos River Valley, in the high country of the La Plata Mountains and in the canyons and plateaus of the surrounding Four Corners region, having spent summers hiking and exploring those areas in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The western novelist once described Mancos by saying “this was country I loved. It was high mountain country and I was happy.”

Let’s show you around…

Start your day of exploring Mancos with a tremendous breakfast at the Absolute Bakery and Cafe. In addition to their mouth-watering bakery goods, the cafe offers excellent breakfast and lunch menus with the freshest, made-from-scratch ingredients. This is not fast food but an ode to delicious, slow-cooked, real food that will captivate your taste buds.

While you sip a cup of gourmet coffee or tea over that decadent, hot cinnamon roll, or vanilla-cinnamon custard French toast, there are plenty of books and artwork in the cafe to draw your attention, not to mention artisan cards and fun cafe items.

Absolute Bakery and Cafe in Mancos, Colorado

Thriving Art Scene

Kilgore American Indian Art Gallery in Mancos, Colorado

Artisans of Mancos Gallery

Artisans Of Mancos (AOM), located next door to the bakery, showcases a collection of unique hand made works from as many as 20 local artisans and master craftspeople. AOM was established in 2002, growing steadily as new artisans have been drawn to the Mancos art and culture scene. Some of the cooperative's extraordinary offerings include stunning jewelry, textiles, paintings, pottery, sculpture, metal work and furniture. These marvelous exhibitions of our local talent are located in the historic old bank building and are a pleasure to peruse.
Kilgore American Indian Art Gallery in Mancos, Colorado

The Kilgore American Indian Art Gallery

Located across the street from AOM, The Kilgore American Indian Art Gallery is a must if you visit the town. Owner Kelley Kilgore was immersed in Navajo and Hopi culture when her parents purchased a trading post on the Navajo reservation in the late'50s. Kilgore's love for the people and their art created a passion for acquiring Native American collections and a desire to open a galley in Scottsdale with her mother. Today, Kilgore has the distinction of appraiser for the Heard Museum in Phoenix for over 25-years and presides over a notable collection in her Mancos gallery.
Mancos is beautiful all year long regardless of the season

Beautiful all year long

Colorado’s Mesa Verde Country, located in the state’s southwest, offers visitors a scenically inspiring and diverse landscape; from rugged mountains and high desert plains, to valleys and lush forests with Ponderosa pines, firs and at higher elevations, picturesque aspens and spruce trees. In fall, the area’s vibrant hues are breath-taking and in winter, the fresh crisp air and snowy landscapes that blanket the small towns are magical. Moreover, each season portrays a distinct quality that instills a longing to explore the landscape and towns in this Colorado region.

Mesa Verde Motel has comfortable, affordable accommodations all year long, conveniently located to all that Mancos and Southwest Colorado have to offer! We look forward to your visit.

Most Beautiful Small Town in Colorado - Mancos #1

Mancos has been named The Most Beautiful Small Town In Colorado!
Read all about it in this article from “Only In Your State.”


Our office serves as base operations for all our guests.


191 W. Railroad Ave. | Mancos, CO 81328
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