Our sunrise tour of Hawkins Preserve tells the story of the sun in southwest Colorado. Learn the Navajo & Ute stories of the sun as you watch the sun rise over the mesas. On the walk back you will see, touch and taste the plants of the southwest and visit a 1,000 year old Pueblo ruin.

Highlights Include:

  • Coffee & local spudnuts on the rim of the canyon as the sun rises over the mesa

  • Guided walk around a beautiful preserve on the southwest side of Cortez

  • A fun, engaging tour guide with stories of local history, ecology and biology

  • Sweeping views of Mesa Verde National Park, the La Plata mountains and the Sleeping Ute Mountain

Important Information

TOURS MEET at the Cortez Cultural Center, 25 North Market Street in Cortez, Colorado. There’s lot’s of street parking nearby and behind the Cultural Center.

Please arrive 10 - 15 minutes before your tour. There is a museum and gift shop in the Cultural Center that you are welcome to investigate after checking in with your guide!

Water, snacks and coffee are provided, and our guides always carry extra sunscreen & emergency supplies, but we suggest brining extra water, a hat, and a jacket. Although it gets hot quickly in the summer, pre-sun hours can be a little chilly!

IF YOU ARE LATE call or text 970-739-0625 as soon as you can.

About Hawkins Preserve

Hawkins Preserve, a 122-acre tract of land within the southern city limits of Cortez, was donated to the Cortez Cultural Center by Mr. Jack Hawkins in the 1990s. The Preserve is a valuable asset for the residents and visitors of Cortez because of the accessibility to an environmental setting, the diversity of plant and animal species, and historic and prehistoric cultural resources. The Cortez Cultural Center manages the preserve in partnership with Montezuma Land Conservancy and the community of Cortez. It is a favorite spot for dog walking, lunch-time strolls and bouldering (with the proper permits).

What Makes it Great

The Navajo people believed greeting the sun with a blessing would ensure your day ran smoothy and in accordance with the balance of the universe. Start your day off with balance as you greet the sun while sipping coffee on the edge of McElmo Canyon.

Who is Going to Love it

The adventurer who wants to learn about the area before they heading out on their own, sun-seekers and early morning risers!

What to Expect

Tours start at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez. After a short drive through town, guests will walk between 2 - 2.5 miles over relatively flat, but uneven terrain. Bring a camera and keep an eye out for wildflowers, cactus and the occasional animal! Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, extra water and a jacket.


Tours Meet

@ The Colorado Welcome Center

928 East Main Street
Cortez, CO, 81321
United States


Tour Details

Start Time: WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY *time varies based on sunrise, please check calendar & confirmation email for specific start time

Duration: approximately 2 hours

Cost: $25 per person (Children Under 5 are FREE)

What’s included: transportation to and from Hawkins Preserve, a fun and knowledgeable guide, engaging history of Cortez

Sales deadline: 5 PM the day before the tour

Tour size: 14 people maximum

What to wear: Weather-appropriate clothes and comfortable shoes

What to bring: A bottle of water and a hat or umbrella; jacket; cash for gratuities and souvenirs

Weather conditions: Tour takes place rain or shine

Distance: 2 easy miles with plenty of rest stops

Meeting point: Colorado Welcome Center, 928 E Main Street

If you’re late: Call/Text 970 - 739 - 0625