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.
The town of Mancos is located in southwestern Colorado, near the Four Corners, at the base of Mesa Verde National Park, and holds the trademark for "Gateway to Mesa Verde". Surrounded by rangeland and mountains, Mancos offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The town was founded in 1894, near the site where early Spanish explorers first crossed the Mancos River. It is the commercial center for east Montezuma County, and was considered at one time as a county seat for Montezuma County. It is served by U.S. Highway 160 and State Highway 184.
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Native American tribes
Control of the area was contested by nomadic Navajo and Ute for centuries. Spanish friars and military passed through the area as part of the Old Spanish Trail connecting New Mexico and California in the 18th century. The name "Mancos" comes from the Dominguez–Escalante Expedition of 1776, though the reason for the name remains unclear (see below). By some unverified accounts, the name Mancos refers to the crippled nature of the Spanish explorers' horses after they crossed the San Juan Mountains. According to unverified lore, the horses were rejuvenated by the lush green grass in the Mancos Valley. Somewhere in the town is the point at which the expedition crossed the Rio Mancos on its way to California from Old Mexico.