Anasazi State Park Museum
At the base of the towering 11,000-foot Boulder Mountain is the site of what used to be one of the most populated Ancestral Puebloan communities west of the Colorado River. Ancestral Puebloans, also known as the Anasazi, occupied this area between 1050 and 1175 A.D. In more recent times, this site has served as an important destination for archeological excavation.
The once-village, now called the Coombs Site, was partially excavated in 1958 and 1959 by the University of Utah as part of the Glen Canyon Dam Project. Digs have revealed mostly one-story apartment complexes, along with open shelters for working in the shade, storage pits, and adobe pit houses. The nearly 100 structures and rooms are thought to have housed as many as 200 people.
Anasazi State Park Museum sits on a six-acre plot and was established as a Utah state park in 1960 to preserve the rich culture and heritage therein.
When you first enter the museum, you can watch a short video to help you understand the history of the people and the land. More than 1,000 artifacts and pieces of pottery have been excavated at the Coombs Site, and many of them are on display in collections. After you’ve thoroughly explored the museum exhibits, you can venture out to the Coombs Site.
Behind the museum, there is a self-guided tour, complete with interpretive signs, along a short trail. The first site you’ll come to on your adventure is an L-shaped building, a replica pueblo that has six rooms, set up to depict what the buildings would have looked like nearly 1,000 years ago. After looking through the rooms, you can continue along the trail past ruined walls and other structures. You may notice the burnt building supports, which suggests the town was abandoned after a massive fire.
Few places in the United States can compare to the archaeological attraction that is Anasazi State Park Museum, where you can get an up close and personal look into life from almost 1,000 years ago.
Pets are allowed in the park on-leash but not in buildings.
Where to Stay
There are no lodging facilities at Anasazi State Park Museum, but there are plenty of camping and hotels in nearby Boulder that you can add to your itinerary. The park is located at 460 UT-12 (a breathtaking scenic byway) in Boulder, and the entrance fee is $5/ person, $3/seniors, or $10/family.
Open year-round, seven days a week. Hours of operation from March 1 through October 31 are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from November 1 through March 1 are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Anasazi State Park Museum