Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Up the Hill to Mesa Verde

I live in the Mancos Valley in Southwest Colorado. The Mancos Valley sits just east of Mesa Verde National Park. If you had a really good arm you could just about throw a rock and hit the park entrance (well almost).
Here is our view of Mesa Verde.

Today my sister-in-law and I took a little drive up to see the park. So, for those of you who have never been to Mesa Verde National Park before, here's a little sneak peek of some of the dwellings in the park. If you've been there and done this, well, just ignore my blog.

Here's the view from the first view point looking back down into the Mancos Valley. I know exactly where our house and barn are, but you would need the eyes of an eagle to see them from here.

The park officials allow visitor to walk down to only one cliff dwelling without a guide. There are park officials in this dwelling to answer questions, but it's not a guided tour. Most of these close up photos are taken in and around the Pueblo Dwelling they call the Spruce Tree House.

And then there's the photos of my sister-in-law and me posing like tourists!

Did I mention that there was a bit of a hike down into this particular dwelling...and of course what goes down must go back up. There was also a very nice museum, bookstore and cafeteria back up on top. After browsing all of these we drove the remaining two loops that are designed to allow you to view more cliff dwellings and several of the more common Pueblo pit houses.

Pueblo Pit House

It's a huge park. Its size is deceiving from the park entrance. Many people go up into the park unprepared for the heat and the walking. As we were leaving the park around 3 in the afternoon there were cars just entering. I can' t imagine what they were going to see in such a short time, but then maybe they won't take time to get out of there cars. Who knows??


  1. Thanks for visiting my blogs and for the comments you leave me.

    I really enjoyed this post. I would have my head full of imaginative ideas on the people and how they lived when the places were occupied. Sometimes those kinds of visions are so vivid so as to be scary. It is like peeking into another world.

    Do you conjure up things like that when you visit places like this? The photos are, by the way, some of the best I have seen.

  2. I'm glad that you enjoyed this post. One of the surprising facts about these dwellings is that they were inhabited between 550AD and 1200AD, yet they were only discovered in 1886 by two local ranch hands looking for stray cattle. Each time that I visit the park I am taken by how hard working these people had to have been. They were hunters and gatherers, and also dryland farmers. Where we would starve, they thrived. I wish that I had just a tiny bit of their gardening skills.

  3. So incredibly true!
    We could learn so much from them don't you think?

    What a beautiful area. I'm sure I'd love to spend days just hiking and photographing there.

    Wonderful tour, thank you.

  4. Tour photos are so crisp and clean. It's a real pleasure to view them.