SUMMERFUN: Crisscross — Four Corners and Mesa Verde

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    For the love of Pete, please don’t tell anybody else about the wonders of Colorado. We don’t need any more transplants.

    If you were totally honest about our state, plenty of hidden secrets exist that would bring people flocking if they knew.

    Next time you are up for an adventure, fight the natural inclination to head west to the mountains and point your car to the far south and west of the metro area and head to Mesa Verde National Park and the Four Corners monument.

    First, hit up the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, where native peoples flourished under the protection of rock walls between 1190 and 1300 A.D. and left a lot of well-preserved artifacts and clues about their unique way of life. Take guided or self-guided tours, visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to see a number of recovered artifacts from the site and many dioramas giving a glimpse of what life was like in the cliff dwellings and hang around the sparkling new Visitor Center (open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. between May 27 and Sept. 5). where you can purchase tickets to visit the Cliff Palace, Balcony House or Long House. Hiking, bird watching and many other outdoor activites make the long trek worthwhile.

    Sixty-six miles from there, visit the Four Corners Monument, the only place in the United States where four states come together at one point. Touch Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah at the same time. It’s the perfect place for a selfie to make your friends jealous, as the most recent reconstruction — circa 2010 — makes for a pretty picture.

    Other SUMMER FUN installments here:

    AMagCoverForWeb5.16SUMMERFUN: Just the ‘Fax, man — Vacation of Lifetime on the Metro Boulevard of Dreams

    SUMMERFUN: Vacation Dessert in the Desert: Colorado Sand Dunes Rock

    SUMMERFUN: Take a Ride on the Wild Side of Clear Creek in Golden

    SUMMERFUN: Stress Re-Leaf at Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

    SUMMERFUN: Riding Shotgun at the Movies

    SUMMERFUN: Beer and a Ride on the FoCo Magic Bus

    SUMMERFUN: Wheel Life at Cruzin’ Havana

    SUMMERFUN: Wildlife Experienced?

    SUMMERFUN: It’s Still a Kick: Aurora Rodeo at Coal Creek

    SUMMERFUN: Spice of the Good Life at Annual Chile Festival

    SUMMERFUN: Spring into Summer Spa Mode at Mt. Princeton

    SUMMERFUN: Make That Mandatory Mountain Town Trip Nearby — Idaho Springs