See Beautiful Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park, located in Montezuma County, Colorado, was established as a National Park in 1906 and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 for its exceptional archaeological sites. Occupying an area of over 52,000 acres, it the largest, best, and most notable archeological preserve in the U.S., with over 5,000 archeological sites, which include 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde, which is Spanish for “Green Table,” is best known for the Cliff Palace structures, which is thought to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Plants and animals which have adapted to the semi-arid climate of the park, such as the sagebrush, the elk, mountain lions, snakes, lizards, and birds also abound.
Explore The Lives Of The Ancient Puebloans
Mesa Verde National Park offers tourists a spectacular exploration of the lives of the Ancient Puebloans, formerly known as the Anasazi, who made the Mesa Verde their home from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. The elaborate Cliffside village of the Pueblo people occupies a high tableland area, which rises 8,500 feet above sea level. The village is made up of multistoried cliff dwellings, clustered in canyons, and built under overhanging cliffs. When you visit the park you can explore some of these dwellings, as well as enjoy the park’s breathtaking rugged scenery.
You should stop at the Far View Visitor Center first if you are visiting between April and October, which is when it is open during the year. You can get tour tickets to various sites at the center, as well as get an overview of the park at the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum in Far View. You can climb up to explore the cliff dwellings open to the public, as well as sightsee some of the pueblos from the overlooks and park roads using binoculars.
Cliff Palace, which has 23 kivas and 217 rooms, is the largest cliff dwelling in the park and is estimated to have housed as many as 250 people. Long House, is the second largest cliff dwelling, with 150 rooms and 21 kivas. Although most of the other dwellings have only one to five rooms each, the overall population of the Mesa Verde is estimated to have peaked at about 5,000 persons.
There are guided tours to these popular dwellings open to the public for exploration, such as Cliff Palace, Long House, and Balcony Hours. You can bring your children along for the tours, however, they must be capable of walking the length of the trail, and climbing ladders and steps without assistance. If your child is an infant, you must be able to maintain balance and mobility while carrying him or her in a backpack.
Mesa Verde National Park is open all year round, but some services may be closed in winter. However, cross-country skiing is allowed on the Cliff Palace Loop and in Morefield when conditions are suitable. If you are staying for more than a day, accommodation is available at Far View Lodge, from where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the park, wildlife watching, and stargazing. If you’ll rather camp out in the park, camping reservations are available at the Morefield Campground, which is located a few miles from the park entrance.