Cliff Dwellings of Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park
An audible expression of unbelief is a certainty the first time baby boomer travelers feast their eyes on the Cliff Palace in Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park.
As I was looking for the best place to compose this photograph, I must admit, I too was stunned as I contemplated this ancient cliff dwelling tucked into the side of a cliff.
Mesa Verde National Park was created in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt to “preserve the works of man”.
The park is located in the southwest corner of Colorado and is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are over 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people at the site.
The Anasazi peoples inhabited Mesa Verde between AD 600 – 1300. Our tour guide explained that the Anasazi would use ladders to move between the mesa-top and the valley floor where they farmed, gathered water, and hunted for food. If danger appeared from approaching humans, they simply removed the ladders and were completely safe, and likely indiscernible.
As remarkable as it was exploring the many cliff dwellings found in Mesa Verde National Park, the scenic drive up to the mesa-top was extraordinary all by itself.
Before you lay your eyes on the first cave dwelling, you are certain to enjoy the scenery as you climb from the valley floor to the summit at 8,572 feet.
This was our second visit to the Mesa Verde National Park. We loved it, and highly recommend that it appears high on your bucket-list.
Have you been to Mesa Verde National Park? What was your favorite feature of the park?