Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

Mesa Verde National Park Info


Mesa Verde National Park

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News

Star Party at Mesa Verde National Park on October 5th

Join local and park astronomers for our annual Star Party in Mesa Verde National Park! Enjoy the wonders of the night sky at the Morefield Campground Amphitheater on Saturday, October 5th, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

Pueblo Pottery Making Demonstration, Firing, and Sale

At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2019, Mesa Verde National Park will host a pottery making demonstration by Santa Clara Pueblo-born Starr Tafoya, located at the park’s Visitor and Research Center. Starr will demonstrate how to mold clay into the desired shapes, explain the polishing and painting process, and finish by firing several pieces using traditional methods.  Afterwards, she will have a number of finished pieces available for sale. The Visitor and Research Center is located at the park entrance, just off US Highway 160.

Eldred and Marilyn Quam Present Zuni Fetish Carving Demonstration at Mesa Verde on September 12 and 13, 2019

On Thursday, September 12 and Friday, September 13, the park will host a Zuni fetish carving demonstration by Eldred and Marilyn Quam, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This free demonstration will be at the park’s Visitor and Research Center, located at the park entrance, just off US Highway 160. Eldred and Marilyn will demonstrate how they carve a variety of stone types into the desired shapes, and explain the polishing and finishing process. They will have a number of finished pieces available for sale.

Mesa Verde National Park Photos

Mesa Verde Visitor Center

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Mesa Verde Visitor Center

The Visitor Center is near the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Morefield Campground

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Morefield Campground

We stayed at Morefield Campground inside the park. It was large and uncrowded.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Mancos Valley Overlook

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Mancos Valley Overlook

A view of the valley and distant mountains from the road up to Mesa Verde.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Tour group at Cliff Palace.

Mesa Verde Road

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Mesa Verde Road

The road climbs up onto the mesa. The cliff dwellings are about a 45-minute drive from the park entrance.

Cliff Palace Warning Sign

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace Warning Sign

The next morning we drove to Cliff Palace, where we took a ranger-led tour of the ruins.

Cliff Canyon

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Canyon

A view down the canyon where Cliff Palace is located. The large expanse of Mesa Verde is cut by several canyons like this one.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Spruce Tree House

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. It used to be open to the public, but because of rock-fall hazard it can now only be viewed from above.

Spruce Tree House

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Spruce Tree House

A closer view of Spruce Tree House.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Lichen, Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Lichen, Cliff Palace

Lichen, Cliff Palace

Small Cliff Dwelling in Cliff Canyon

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Small Cliff Dwelling in Cliff Canyon

This small cliff dwelling is in the side of the canyon across from Cliff Palace.

Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

Exit from Cliff Palace

Mike Dole posted a photo:

Exit from Cliff Palace

We had to climb these steep stairs through a narrow cleft in the rock.