Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Mesa Verde, located in southwestern Colorado, became a national park in June, 1906, thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt. The park is an archeologist’s dream with over 4,000 ancient sites to explore.

After entering this 52,000 acre park, the road climbs to an elevation of up to 8,500 feet, offering stunning vistas of the sweeping landscape below.

Montezuma Valley Overlook

Park Point Overlook

As mentioned above, Mesa Verde has thousands of well preserved, archeological sites built by the Ancestral Pueblo people beginning in the fifth century AD. They were an advanced and prosperous population, accomplished in farming, hunting, trade, pottery, tool making and basket weaving.

Far View Sites

Kivas are round, deep spaces within the structures that were possibly used for meetings.

The elaborately built cliff dwellings are visible from both sides of the canyon.

150 room village

Ladders were used to get to locations within the village and to the mesa above.

I can’t imagine climbing up and down the ladders carrying crops, water, game, or with a child strapped to my back; yikes!

“We didn’t get wiped out, we didn’t move away, we’re still here, and we will still be here.” Terry Knight, Ute Mountain Ute Elder.

One of the things I love about visiting our national parks is the slow pace. People drive slow, stop to take in the scenery and will even spend a few minutes chatting with other visitors before moving on. We need more of that in our everyday lives.

There are tours available to see the cliff dwellings and other sites in the park. Accommodations in the park include Morefield Campground and the Far View Lodge. There are several restaurants as well.

I am fortunate to have visited over twenty national parks and monuments, and Mesa Verde is in my top five. I highly recommend a visit to this facinating location.

Wishing you grand adventures,


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