This story begins nearly 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the Colorado Plateau was still a dry seabed as far as the eye could see. Over time, wind and rain eroded the land and left layers of colorful sandstone formations in their wake, turning rock into fins, and fins into arches, gullies, and caves. Then, around 10,000 BCE, Paleolithic hunter-gatherers became the earliest inhabitants of this fascinating region. They gave way to the Ancestral Puebloans, or Anasazi, who, along with the Ute, Apache, and Navajo Indians, left remarkable remnants of their culture and civilization. Ranchers, cowboys, miners, and religious pioneers arrived in the mid-1800’s, establishing permanent settlements and developing the cities that still populate the area to this day. The Trail of the Ancients National Scenic Byway, a looping road that winds over 400 miles/644km throughout Utah, Colorado, and Arizona, connects the prehistoric to the modern while highlighting the spectacular scenery of the Four Corners region. Travel through time on the only national scenic byway appointed due to its archeological significance and explore remote cultural and historic sites while traversing a diverse landscape that is wildly beautiful and beautifully wild. From the sunbaked desert of northeast Arizona to the dramatic canyons of southwest Colorado and the snow-capped mountains and red rock country of southeast Utah, the Trail of the Ancients will lead you on a journey of discovery through the archeological heartland of America, with stops at adventure and understanding along the way.