Located near Boulder, Utah - Anasazi State Park Museum is a wonderful stop to make if you are traveling along Utah's Scenic Hwy 12. The park is situated on the site which was once home to one of the largest Puebloan villages in the region west of the Colorado River during the years 1050 to 1200 AD. Take a step back in time and learn a bit of history about the Anasazi people who used to call this area home, view the ruins of the village and step into a replica of what one of the Pueblo dwellings may have looked like. For anyone who enjoys history or just wants to learn about the history of this area of Utah, visiting Anasazi State Park Museum is definitely worth a stop!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ANASAZI OR ANCESTRAL PUEBLOAN
Throughout the four corners region of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico you can find numerous Anasazi ruins sites. The small Anasazi State Park Museum just off of Hwy 12 is a great introduction to life within an Anasazi village. Today, the Anasazi people are actually more commonly referred to as 'Ancestral Puebloan' as 'Anasazi' is actually a Navajo term meaning 'ancient enemies'. It is unknown what the true name was for the people that originally lived in this village but today the names 'Anasazi' and 'Ancestral Puebloan' are both used to describe the group of people that lived among these ruins.
THE MUSEUM & OUTDOOR REPLICAS
Within the museum, artifacts are on display such as pottery, baskets, arrowheads and even clothing - in fact more than 1000 artifacts were unearthed just outside the museum at the Coombs Site where the ancient village was discovered in the 1950s. There are also some interactive displays for children found throughout the museum to keep kids attention. Once you have finished inside the museum, step outside and you will be greeted to full size replicas of Anasazi dwellings - including a six room Pueblo dwelling and a Pit House. Our son loved being able to actually walk into the larger dwelling and explore what it was like inside the Pueblos.
In addition, the remains of the ancient Anasazi village can be seen by exploring the Coombs Site - here you can view the ruins of the ancient village that was unearthed at this site. It is believed that over 200 people once inhabited this site. First excavated in 1958 by the University of Utah, they unearthed the remains of nearly 100 structures and rooms providing an in-depth look at Anasazi life. It is fascinating to walk around and imagine life as it was here over a thousand years ago. The big question today is what led to the Anasazi leaving this area? A couple theories center around the large spread drought that was present in the area during that time frame or possibly even a large spread fire as burned wood structures have been found among the ruins here at the Coombs Site.
Overall, a to visit Anasazi State Park Museum is a wonderful stop if you are in the area. Plan on spending about 30 minutes to 1 hour here reading the informational exhibits and viewing the remains of the original village found outside the museum. For anyone visiting Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument or just passing thru Scenic Hwy 12 - this is a wonderful stop to get out and stretch your legs and take in a bit of the history of the area.