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.
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??