|What is it?
||Mesa Verde National Monument protects 5,000 known archaeological sites and at least 600 cliff dwellings atop several mesas in southern Colorado!
|What makes it beautiful?
||After seeing some neat cliff houses, it was breathtaking to see entire cliff cities suspended high over the shifting colors of autumn! Mesa Verde is an incredible anthology of human life from its early days of making pithouses on top of the mesa to its later days building grand palaces and temples on the edge! It is filled with stories both sad and happy, from the Sun Temple built to ward off the drought that would render this land uninhabitable, to the simple stories of residents watching the sunrise and importing hot xocolotl imported from Mexico! Several of these old villages are still visitable, and it’s hard to match the sense of adventure that comes from entering a cliff palace!
|How can I Help the Helpers?
- Pay the entrance fee to help maintain trails, signs, structures, and other visitor services!
- Volunteer at Mesa Verde National Park!
- Donate to Mesa Verde Foundation!
- Be a responsible visitor! Remember the old adages: Pack out what you pack in! Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints!
|Where is this place?
||Mesa Top Ruins Road
0.7 miles south of US-160
Mancos, CO 81328
From Aspen: ~277mi (446km) — 4.7hrs
From Colorado Springs: ~336mi (541km) — 5.6hrs
From Denver: ~371mi (598km) — 6.2hrs
From Grand Junction: ~202mi (326km) — 3.4hrs
|When should I go?
||You can visit all year, but I really enjoyed visiting during the autumn. The hillsides are covered with deep orange and red oak leaves, and the temperatures and crowds are much more pleasant than in the summer!