Currently, there are no signs directing you to Yucca House. The monument is surrounded by private land. Once you leave the main highway, the road to Yucca House becomes gravel or dirt, which may be impassible in wet weather. You will also need to pass through livestock gates and close them behind you. Please contact Mesa Verde National Park at (970) 529-4465 for directions.
Yucca House National Monument is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan surface site. Yucca House is located in Southwest Colorado between the towns of Towaoc and Cortez. Currently, there are no facilities or fees at Yucca House.
Yucca House is one of the largest archeological sites in southwest Colorado, and acted as an important community center for the Ancestral Puebloan people from A.D. 1150-1300. The long-term preservation of Yucca House ensures that archeologists will be able to continue studying Ancestral Puebloan society and what caused them to migrate from this region in the late 1200s.
Yucca House National Monument is a United States National Monument located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. Yucca House is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the site a National Monument on December 19, 1919, after the donation of 9.5 acres (38,000 m2) of land on July 2, 1919 by a private landowner. It was one of many research national monuments designated during that era to preserve them for future investigation, and not necessarily as sites expected to be significant public attractions. As a National Park Service historic area, the park was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Currently, there are no facilities or fees at Yucca House. The site is managed by Mesa Verde National Park.
The monument is located between the towns of Towaoc (headquarters of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe) and Cortez. To reach the monument from US 160, drive on US 160/US 491 for 8 miles (13 km) south of Cortez, take County Road B west for just over a mile, then turn north onto County Road 20.5. County Road 20.5 does not have a sign. It is a right turn just before the last farmhouse on the left (at the right turn you cross a yellow cattle guard) and once you are on the road there is a sign on the property on the left hand side that says "Boxbar Ranch No Trespassing" so stay on the road until you reach the parking lot on the left. Montezuma County has placed a sign at the corner of Road B and Road 20.5 at least three times and vandals have removed the sign each time. The entrance to the monument is at the end of that road, about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the previous turn. An small unimproved parking area may be used, but what is visible can be accessed only by a rough foot trail. Parking space is limited and roads may be difficult immediately following rains or snowmelt. There are no true interpretive features at the site.
The site is one of many Anasazi (Ancestral Pueblo) village sites located in the Montezuma Valley and occupied between AD 900 and 1300, and became a major community center after about 1150. It may have taken advantage of the location nearby of Mud Springs and Navajo Springs, and the junction of several major trails. (Navajo Springs was the original site of the Ute Mountain Indian Agency following the division of the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in the early 1900s.) Even today, much of the area around the site is rich, irrigated farmland, while drier, higher areas are arid rangeland.