The living museum

It's endlessly fascinating how rivers connect us to the layers of human history found across the Four Corners. Take our home river, the Animas. If one were to float its course to its confluence with the San Juan, then downstream across high desert valleys, the mountain-born waters eventually wind through a deep canyon along the edge of Cedar Mesa. It is here that you will find the Bears Ears region, an area that has seen more than 13,000 years of human occupancy and is home to some 100,000 archeological sites. Several canyons hide an incredibly well-preserved picture of the past here. Cedar Mesa's main drainage, known by many as "the living museum" is a textbook example. Here's a look at just a few exhibits tucked away in the winding halls of time. *Please, always remember to visit with respect.