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Near the Park

Lodging in Cortez is adequate but not very exciting, although since you probably are just using Cortez as a base for exploring the area, this may not matter. Therefore, we recommend that you stay in your favorite chain. Summer is the busy season here, and that's when you'll usually pay the highest rates. Among those offering clean, comfortable, and relatively reasonably priced rooms in Cortez are Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites, 535 E. Main St. (www.bestwesternmesaverde.com; tel. 800/547-3376 or 970/565-3778), charging $90 to $120 double; Econo Lodge, 2020 E. Main St. (tel. 970/565-3474), with double rates of $60 to $89; Holiday Inn Express, 2121 E. Main St. (www.coloradoholiday.com; tel. 800/626-5652 or 970/565-6000), charging $130 to $160 for two; Rodeway Inn, 1120 E. Main St. (tel. 970/565-3761), charging $60 to $79 double; and Super 8, 505 E. Main St. (tel. 970/565-8888), with rates for two of $60 to $73.

Camping

The Morefield Campground, c/o Aramark, P.O. Box 277, Mancos, CO 81328 (www.visitmesaverde.com; tel. 800/449-2288 or 970/533-1944), 4 miles past the entrance station on the park's entrance road, is among the largest in the national park system with 365 sites, including 15 with full RV hookups. Open from mid-May to mid-October, the campground sits on rolling hills in a grassy area with scrub oak and brush. The attractive sites line four loop roads on the gently sloping floor of Morefield Canyon. For tent campers, the sites on Navajo Loop afford extra privacy. Though lower than the others, this loop is free of RVs and cuts into dense clusters of Gambel oak. If you prefer panoramic vistas, head for Hopi Loop, where the campsites are higher and less wooded than the others, affording views down the canyon. At dusk on most nights, mule deer browse in the bushes around many campsites.

Showers are available just outside the campground entrance at Morefield Village, which also has a coin-operated laundry (not within easy walking distance of most campsites). The campground has toilets, drinking water, public phones, picnic tables, grills, and an RV dump station. Programs on the area's human and natural history and other subjects take place at the campground amphitheater nightly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Campsites cost $23, $33 with hookups. Reservations are accepted.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.