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When you’re planning your vacations, you’ll definitely want to put Mesa Verde National Park Colorado on your bucket list!
Located in the four corners region – Southwest Colorado, this National Park preserves the man-made dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans. It’s an amazing opportunity to view and tour the ancient ruins and walk in the steps of of these mysterious people.
Mesa Verde National Park Colorado
Hey it’s Deb stopping by from Bowl Me Over giving you smore ideas for summer fun! If you haven’t made plans yet, let me give you a great spot to put on your bucket list!
Mesa Verde ancient Puebloan Ruins! It’s a National Park located in the southwest corner of Colorado. (Think the four-corners region where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet.)
Last year for summer vacation, Dan and I did a road trip to this amazing park.
Unlike most national parks, that celebrate our nations natural beauties like Yosemite National Park Waterfalls or Niagara Falls, this park preserves the man-made, ancient ruins of the Puebloan people.
Tucked into the cliff, the dwellings were built over 600 years ago. Believed to be occupied for nearly 100 years, the structures are quite elaborate. Some buildings have as many as 150 rooms! This was an advanced society.
Views of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado
Dan and I took two days to tour the park, honestly we could have been there for several more days because there is so much to see. I would recommend giving yourself at least three days to enjoy and view the area.
One of our hikes included touring the Pueblo Cliff Palace (which is the first photo above). We hiked all the way to the bottom of the valley with the tour group and then traveled thru the ruins.
The Cliff Palace Tour involves climbing ladders and navigating the terrain. So you want to make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the tour. It can get really hot during the summer months, so we opt’d to take this tour first thing in the morning.
Puebloan Cliff Palace
We snapped photos along the way and enjoyed the tour and lectures from the park rangers.
It is believed that after a long drought and exhausting the food supply in the area the dwellings were abandoned sometime after the late 1200’s.
The ruins were rediscovered years later by cowboys and the dwellings were plundered until it was turned into a National Park in 1906.
Although much of the park can be explored on your own, tickets are required to visit the cliff dwellings which include the Cliff Palace, Long House and Balcony House.
Be sure to get there early because the tour tickets sell out fast!Deb Clark
Some areas are more accessible than others. Though the camping sites and museum are wheelchair accessible, many of the tours are not so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
How to prepare for a tour at Mesa Verde
- Good hiking boots – for me this was really important. During the tour hiking up and down ladders, I was really glad I had good footing on.
- Sunscreen – although it may not seem that warm, the park is located at 7000-8500 feet. You’re so much closer to the sun and you’ll burn much more easily.
- Shade hat – big hat to keep out the sun.
- Lots of water – keep hydrated!
- Picnic Lunch – facilities are limited at the park and having a picnic gives you a lot more flexibility. Plus it’s must more fun!
Tower House Mesa Verde National Park
Entrance fee at the park is $15 per vehicle, but if you visit National Parks often I recommend purchasing a yearly pass for $80 which is get you into all the (National) parks thru-out the United States or click here for more Free US National Park Pass Information!
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Mesa Verde and put it on your bucket list of places to visit soon! Check out my blog for more fun and adventure like tips to Hike Half Dome and Exploring the Eastern Sierras! Hope to see you soon!