Cortez is considered a gateway town to Mesa Verde National Park
. The town is rich in archaeological history. Visitors can participate in ongoing excavation work at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
. The buttes and open lands of the Four Corners region makes a scenic location for the city of Cortez.
Cortez is located in the southwestern corner of the state, just west of Durango on Hwy 160. McPhee Reservoir and Mancos State Park are nearby.