Traditional place

Mesa Verde National park in USA

Mesa Verde National park in USA

Mesa Verde National Park is a UNESCO National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The park protects about 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) is best known for structures such as Cliff Palace, which is believed to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Cliff dwellings are some of the most notable and best preserved sites in the United States.

After living mainly at the table for 600 years, the Ancestral Pueblo villages began to build structures under the hanging cliffs of Mesa Verde, from one room storage units to villages with more than 150 rooms. Decades of excavation and analysis still leave many questions unanswered, but they have shown us that the ancient inhabitants of Puebla were skilled survivors and artistic craftsmen.

Established by Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the park occupies 52,485 acres (21,240 ha) near the Four Corners region of the southwestern United States. The Mesa Verde survived using a combination of hunting, harvesting and subsistence farming of crops such as corn, beans and squash. They built the first villages of the table sometime after 650 and, at the end of the 12th century, they began to build the houses of massive cliffs for which the park is best known. By 1285, after a period of social and environmental instability driven by a series of severe and prolonged droughts, they left the area and moved south to places in Arizona and New Mexico, including Río Chama, Pajarito Plateau and Santa Fe.

The National Park Foundation has worked hard to preserve the important Hopi culture, whose lives are intertwined with the mysterious houses on the cliffs, as well as with the townspeople. Our program team worked with partners to create an innovative way to preserve this culture through multimedia efforts.

On a one-day visit, start early and stop first at the Far View Visitor Center, open from mid-April to mid-October, to purchase tickets for the tour. Then go to the Archaeological Museum of Chapin Mesa for a general description; and then visit the nearby Spruce Tree House (tickets are not required). From there drive on Cliff Palace Loop Road. In the afternoon, follow the Mesa Top Loop Road. Wear sturdy shoes and prepare for strenuous climbing if you plan to visit the cliff dwellings. Binoculars are useful for improving the views of the canyon.

How to get to Mesa Verde National Park-

On a one-day visit, start early and stop first at the Far View Visitor Center, open from mid-April to mid-October, to purchase tickets for the tour. Then go to the Archaeological Museum of Chapin Mesa for a general description; and then visit the nearby Spruce Tree House (tickets are not required). From there drive on Cliff Palace Loop Road. In the afternoon, follow the Mesa Top Loop Road. Wear sturdy shoes and prepare for strenuous climbing if you plan to visit the cliff dwellings. Binoculars are useful for improving the views of the canyon.

From Cortez, take US 160 east for eight miles to the park entrance, then follow the park’s winding road 15 miles to the Far View Visitor Center and 5.5 miles further to the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum and a cliff dwelling : Spruce Tree House. Trailers are not allowed beyond Morefield Village. Airports: Cortez and Durango.

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