|City of Cortez|
Cortez city hall, built in 2017.
Location of the City of Cortez in Montezuma County, Colorado.
|• Type||Home Rule Municipality|
|• Mayor||Mike Lavey|
|• Total||6.27 sq mi (16.25 km2)|
|• Land||6.23 sq mi (16.14 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.11 km2)|
|Elevation||6,191 ft (1,887 m)|
|• Density||1,402.25/sq mi (541.41/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−07:00 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−06:00 (MDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0179044|
|Website||City of Cortez|
The City of Cortez ( // ( listen )) is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 8,482 at the 2010 United States Census.
In 1886, the town was built to provide housing for the men working on the tunnels and irrigation ditches required to divert water out of the Dolores River and into Montezuma Valley.The town was named for Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.
It is a popular stop for tourists, who stay there because of its central location among surrounding attractions, such as Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley, and the Four Corners.
There are many prehistoric sites in the Cortez area, listed on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties or both the state register and the National Register of Historic Places: They include large parks or centers, such as Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Hovenweep National Monument, and Mesa Verde National Park. There are also smaller or individuals sites, such as Cowboy Wash, Hawkins Pueblo and cliff dwellings, Lowry Ruin, Mitchell Springs Archeological Site, also known as the Mitchell Springs Ruin Group, Mud Springs Pueblo, and Yucca House National Monument. Within the McElmo Drainage Unit (AD 1075-1300) is Cannonball Ruins, Maxwell Community, Roy's Ruin, Sand Canyon Archaeological District, and Wallace Ruin.
The following are trails or byways through the Cortez area:
A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft made an emergency nighttime forced landing August 3, 1959, at the Cortez Municipal Airport.United States Air Force Major H. Mike Hua (now retired as General) was on a training flight originating at Laughlin AFB, Texas; the U-2 aircraft engine flamed out at 70,000 feet MSL. Maj. Hua established best glide and was able to navigate through a valley to a lighted airport that wasn't on his map nor did he know of its existence beforehand. The airport was the only one in the area with a lighted runway which was illuminated overnight.
Cortez is located at(37.349270, -108.579225).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14 km2), of which 5.5 square miles (14 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.36%) is water. Cortez is located in the area of the southwest known as the "High Desert", as are most of northwestern, western, southwestern, and southern Colorado.
Cortez has a dry-summer continental climate (Köppen Dsb), though it borders on a semi-arid climate (BSk) due to low precipitation. The city has hot summer days and cold winter nights, the latter a result of its elevation.
|Climate data for Cortez, Colorado|
|Record high °F (°C)||63|
|Average high °F (°C)||41|
|Average low °F (°C)||12|
|Record low °F (°C)||−27|
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||1.01|
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||17.8|
Cortez is a local commercial center, competing with Durango in the east, and Farmington, New Mexico in the south, and draws trade from southeastern Utah, the extreme northeastern corner of Arizona, the Shiprock area of Northwestern New Mexico, and San Miguel, Dolores, Montezuma, and parts of La Plata County in Colorado. Its economy is based very heavily on tourism, both to nearby Mesa Verde National Park as well as to San Juan National Forest, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in the area (including Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, as well as the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and Navajo Indian Reservations).
Mesa Verde National Park, featuring Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings, is situated southeast of Cortez.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the censusof 2010, there were 8,482 people, 3,590 households, and 2,234 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,449.9 people per square mile (560.0/km2). There were 3,885 housing units at an average density of 637.6 per square mile (246.3/km2). The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male (4,083) and 51.9% female (4,399). The racial makeup of the city was 79.2% White, 0.4% African American, 11.8% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 6.04% from other races, and 2.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.30% of the population.
There were 3,590 households, out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.8% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 26.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,776, and the median income for a family was $35,533. Males had a median income of $30,755 versus $20,280 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,040. About 14.8% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 17.3% of those age 65 or over.
Cortez Public Schools are part of the Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. The district has one preschool, five elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The educational system is currently suffering a loss of 1.6% according to the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program.
Montezuma-Cortez RE-1 Pre-School, Kemper Elementary School, Lewis-Arriola Elementary School, Manaugh Elementary School, Mesa Elementary Schools, Pleasant View Elementary School, Cortez Middle School and Montezuma-Cortez High School are located in Cortez. The high school mascot is the Panther.
The City Council of Cortez is composed of seven members including the Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem. The current mayor of Cortez is Karen Sheek.
Cortez Municipal Airport serves Cortez. Cortez is part of Colorado's Bustang network. It is on the Durango-Grand Junction Outrider line.
The City of Idaho Springs is a Statutory City that is the most populous municipality of Clear Creek County, Colorado, United States. Idaho Springs is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,717. Idaho Springs is located in Clear Creek Canyon, in the mountains upstream from Golden, some 30 miles (50 km) west of Denver.
Montezuma County is the southwesternmost of the 64 counties in the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,535. The county seat is Cortez.
Dolores County is the seventh-least populous of the 64 counties of the U.S. state of Colorado. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,064. The county seat is Dove Creek.
Lake Montezuma is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 3,344 at the 2000 census. The CDP includes the communities of Rimrock and McGuireville. Located along Interstate 17, it is 20 miles (32 km) south of Sedona and 8 miles (13 km) north of Camp Verde in central Arizona's Verde Valley.
The Town of Dolores is a Statutory Town in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The population was 936 at the 2010 census. It is one of three incorporated municipalities in the county.
The Town of Mancos is a Statutory Town located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 1,336 at the 2010 United States Census.
Towaoc is an unincorporated town, a post office, a census-designated place (CDP), and the capital of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe located on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The Towaoc post office has the ZIP Code 81334. At the United States Census 2010, the population of the Towaoc CDP was 1,087, while the population of the 81334 ZIP Code Tabulation Area was 1,493 including adjacent areas.
The Four Corners is a region of the Southwestern United States consisting of the southwestern corner of Colorado, southeastern corner of Utah, northeastern corner of Arizona, and northwestern corner of New Mexico. The Four Corners area is named after the quadripoint at the intersection of approximately 37° north latitude with 109° 03' west longitude, where the boundaries of the four states meet, and are marked by the Four Corners Monument. It is the only location in the United States where four states meet. Most of the Four Corners region belongs to semi-autonomous Native American nations, the largest of which is the Navajo Nation, followed by Hopi, Ute, and Zuni tribal reserves and nations. The Four Corners region is part of a larger region known as the Colorado Plateau and is mostly rural, rugged, and arid. In addition to the monument, commonly visited areas within Four Corners include Monument Valley, Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Canyon, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and Canyon de Chelly National Monument. The most populous city in the Four Corners region is Farmington, New Mexico, followed by Durango, Colorado.
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain. Shallow tributaries run through the wide and deep canyons into the San Juan River.
Yucca House National Monument is a United States National Monument located in Montezuma County, Colorado between the towns of Towaoc and Cortez, Colorado. Yucca House is a large, unexcavated Ancestral Puebloan archaeological site.
Ute Mountain, also known as Ute Peak or Sleeping Ute Mountain, is a peak within the Ute Mountains, a small mountain range in the southwestern corner of Colorado. It is on the northern edge of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation. The Reservation forms the southwestern corner of the state and of Montezuma County.
Hawkins Preserve is a 122-acre (0.49 km2) property within the city limits of Cortez, Colorado. It is protected by a conservation easement held by the Montezuma Land Conservancy.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is a national monument protecting an archaeologically-significant landscape located in the southwestern region of the U.S. state of Colorado. The monument's 176,056 acres (71,247 ha) are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, as directed in the Presidential proclamation which created the site on June 9, 2000. Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is part of the National Landscape Conservation System, better known as the National Conservation Lands. This system comprises 32 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management to conserve, protect, and restore these nationally significant landscapes recognized for their outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values. Canyons of the Ancients encompasses and surrounds three of the four separate sections of Hovenweep National Monument, which is administered by the National Park Service. The monument was proclaimed in order to preserve the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the United States, primarily Ancestral Puebloan ruins. As of 2005, over 6,000 individual archeological sites had been identified within the monument.
Pleasant View is an unincorporated community and a U.S. Post Office located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. The Pleasant View Post Office has the ZIP Code 81331.
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center is a 170-acre (69 ha) research center and "living classroom" located in southwestern Colorado, US, which offers experiential education programs for students and adults.
The Trail of the Ancients is a National Scenic Byway located in the states of Colorado and Utah. The route highlights the archaeological and cultural history of southwestern Native American peoples, and traverses the widely diverse geological landscape of the Four Corners region of the Colorado Plateau. It was the first National Scenic Byway that was designated solely for its archaeological sites. The entire route is approximately 480 miles (772.5 km) long.
The Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum , located in Dolores, Colorado, is an archaeological museum of Native American pueblo and hunter-gatherer cultures. Two 12th-century archaeological sites, the Escalante and Dominguez Pueblos, at the center were once home to Ancient Pueblo peoples. The museum's permanent and special exhibits display some of the 3 million mostly Ancestral Puebloan artifacts curated at the facility. The center also houses a public research library, educational resources and a museum shop. Wheelchair-accessible facilities include a picnic area and an interpreted nature and cultural trail.
The Ansel Hall Ruin, also known as Cahone Ruin, is located in Cahone, Dolores County, Colorado. A pre-historic ruins from the Pueblo II period, the Northern San Juan pueblo was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.