Mesa Verde National Park

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Cortez, Colorado
(970) 529-4465

Mesa Verde National Park Cortez Reviews

walterman9999 walterma…
175 reviews
Indian ruins perserved by overhanging cliffs Nov 11, 2016
We stop for supplies and ice in Cortez Colorado. Then we drive east on US 160 ten miles and see the distinctive butte from the distance. There is also a sign pointing the way for first timers. We drive the winding road up by tall cliffs with guardrails to protect us. My first time there was in 1985 when there was no guardrails.

These peaceful farming native Americans I think are now called Pueblo People. They co-existed well with other native Americans. They took lifetime care for their disabled and elderly. It is thought that a extreme twenty year drought in the late 1200s caused their abandonment of their settlements in Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon (New Mexico), and elsewhere and scattered their people. The Pueblo people descendants can still be found in New Mexico.

So go and see the major "houses" or sets of ruins. Many ruins you can walk down and enter them to check them out. Some have a ranger as a guide at certain hours. The overhanging cliffs kept the rain from washing the ruins and eroding them. The ruins are in relatively good shape for all the centuries they have been silent.

They also have a good campground with some services there.
Mesa Verde front butte
Mesa Verde, indian ruins
Mesa Verde, indian ruins
Mesa Verde, indian ruins
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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walterman9999 says:
Bill,
Only from protection from rain the buildings survived.
The Pueblos also built buildings on mesa top that look more like foundations now.
Posted on: Nov 12, 2016
Zagnut66 says:
It's pretty amazing these ruins are still around.
Posted on: Nov 12, 2016
walterman9999 says:
Thanks Brian,
The Chaco Canyon settlement in New Mexico was very large and they built roads. I think Chaco was the main headquarters for all those Pueblo people scattered through the Four Corners.
I never been to Chaco Canyon.
Posted on: Nov 11, 2016
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Gabby27 Gabby27
36 reviews
Mysterious Cliff Dwellings at Mesa Verde Mar 25, 2010
It's hard to know where to begin with this review. Mesa Verde National Park is so rich in history and splendor that I feel my words just won't do it justice. The drive up the ridge after you enter the park boundaries is windy and takes you through several up and downs. At the gate you pay $10 per vehicle to enter, there were 3 of us in one car...really only $3 a person to experience this beautiful place?! Awesome.

It's late March so most of the snow has melted but the shady sides of the mountains still hold enough to remind you you're on the edge of winter, looking over the hill gleefully as spring approaches. From the entrance it's 23 miles to the Chapin Mesa Museum and the first cliff dwellings. We got there with about 30 minutes to spare before the FREE 4 o'clock tour of Spruce Tree House. Winter tours are abbreviated because the snow makes certain areas of the park inaccessible to the public. However, since our trip out to Mesa Verde was a last minute decision, an hour or two was perfect for viewing Spruce Tree House and then other cliff dwellings from the Mesa Loop drive.

The museum offers a history of the natives that once lived in the cliff dwellings. Keep in mind that these structures were built and occupied between 1200 and 1300 AD. Stunning architecture and a highly advanced society! There was a small hike to Spruce Tree House, about a 1/4 mile downhill. You're at 7,000 feet so the trek back up might take you by surprise. If you're not used to that altitude bring some water and take you're time. There is no shame in huffing, puffing, and breathing hard...you won't be the only one! Wear some comfortable shoes, the tour lasted for about an hour and you are not allowed to sit on any walls as they are sacred and should be treated as pieces in a museum.

It was incredible to see these structures, their size, their importance, their efficiency and functionality. How impressive that they were built in the niches of overhanging cliffs, on the edges, and in the crevices. I wish I could offer a more detailed history of the area and it's people...in an attempt to keep this review accurate I will say less than I want to and leave it to you to research and experience the splendor of Mesa Verde.

Since the 1970's the park has been experiencing an average of 20-25 fires. Since Mesa Verde became a National Park in 1906, 80% of it has been burned. It was fascinating to drive through lush groves of Juniper, pinyon, and mountain shrubs and then suddenly, like crossing into another dimension find yourself surrounded by large chunks of charcoal posing as trees!

I left the park completely mystified by the structures and artifacts. I wonder what the people were like, what drove them out, and why did they only spend 100 years out of 800 or so living in the cliff dwellings. Weather, war, social conflict, tragedy, adventure...

Did you know: Mesa Verde is the only National Park dedicated to the preservation of works of man.

GO HERE.
Small portion of the Spruce Tree H…
Spruce Tree House from another ang…
Inside a Kiva at Spruce Tree House.
A real kitchen.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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alyssa_ob says:
congrats on the feature! Well written!
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
vulindlela says:
Congrats on your feature!
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
Koralifix says:
Congrats on being featured! Good on you!
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
Bulldog1up Bulldog1…
12 reviews
Ruins in the states Apr 20, 2009
For ten dollars we were able to drive in to Mesa verde national park. Its an amazing experiance. The ruins are everywhere but of course they have the highlights and tours. You are given a map as soon as you drive in. You should know where ever you are driving from, that its going to be another 30 minutes of driving once you get into the park just to get to the first sight. but once u get back there theres no shortage on ruins. Its ubeleiveble how well the ruins have been preserved. Probably one of the best parks ive been to.

If you checked out my durango road trip blog then you already know that i stopped here. This was actually the highlight of the trip. My freinds were good sports because of my broken foot, i couldnt get down close to some of the sights but it was still awesome and i plan to go back so i can get up close for some better pics. You can see in the pictures that i was at view points but u can actually go down and get close. Even go inside the rooms and explore. But it means a hike and ladders and such witch i couldnt do. These ruins were meant to be hard to get to.

We did not see the half of it. There are 4000 archeological sights on the property and everytime you turn a corner you can see some kind of dwelling in a cliff.

I highly recomend stopping here if you want the full colorado experiance and want to see some thngs that you cant experiance anywhere else.
cliff palace
tree house
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Africancrab says:
Nice blog
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
sylviandavid says:
Nice pictures.... and good review..... sylvia
Posted on: Mar 26, 2010
jebailey76 jebailey…
7 reviews
Native America Mar 02, 2008
Mesa Verde National Park is located in the lower southwestern corner of the state of Colorado.

This is one of the coolest historic place in southwestern part of State of Colorado. You'll find yourself viewing, learning, how and why the Native American's ancestors built their home under the cliff of the rocky mountain.

I encourage, you to go and visit the Mesa Verde National Park. If you like an america history and want to know more about it. This is one of the marvelous place to visit an america history.

Check out more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_Verde_National_Park or http://www.nps.gov/archive/meve/park_info/park_history.htm
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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photo by: walterman9999