Sleeping Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
Sleeping Ute Mountain, History and ParksThe Sleeping Ute Mountain towers over Towaoc and the Montezuma Valley and is home to nearby Ute Tribe Park. This mountain is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado and on the edge of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation. If you're visiting the Durango area, you might consider driving an hour and a half to visit this legendary mountain. Access to this mountain is minimal, but the Ute Tribe Park and the Mesa Verde National Park are just east of the mountain and full of history, camping, and tours.
The Sleeping Ute Mountain LegendLegend has it that this is a Great Warrior God who had come to fight against evil ones, causing much trouble. A great battle ensued, and the Warrior God was hurt, so he laid down and fell into a deep sleep. Look carefully at the mountain, and you will see him; his head points toward the north, his arms are folded across his chest, stomach, legs, knees, and feet (even toes) are all clearly visible. When fog or clouds settle over the sleeping Warrior God, it is a sign that he is changing his blankets for the season. A light green blanket heralds spring; the dark green brings summer. Yellow and red are fall colors, and white is winter. One day, the Utes believe the great warrior God will rise again to help his people fight against their enemies.
Ute Mountain Ute TribeThe 13 Ute Bands are the oldest recognized residents of Colorado and historically roamed throughout Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico as hunter-gatherer societies. The separate bands moved with the seasons for the best hunting and harvest. The present-day Weenuche Band lives in the communities of Towaoc and White Mesa to the west of Utah. This thriving Band celebrates the Bear Dance and Sun Dance every year, which connect old ways with the new in rich, colorful pageantry of song and dance. The Bear Dance celebrations are open to the public.
Learn more about the Ute Mountain Tribal Park and what it offers, such as tours, camping, events, and more.Some must-see Ute Tribal experiences include the archaeological Tribal Park located south of the Mesa Verde/Mancos Canyon, as well as the retail trading company located in Cortez. Watch artists at work creating beautiful pottery. Tour the museum depicting Ute history and artifacts. Shop beautiful handcrafted beadwork, jewelry, baskets, hide paintings, and pottery. Sample local wines from McElmo Canyon at an adjacent tasting room.