- Mesa Verde National Park in the southwestern part of the state, protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings built of sandstone and mud mortar
- Because the dwellings are on the edge of a cliff, visitors get unprecedented views of the surrounding country
- For seven centuries, starting around 1,500 years ago, the area was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people
June 27, 2017: After leaving the enchanting landscape of New Mexico, national parks traveler Mikah Meyer headed north into the state of Colorado, where he found more natural and manmade wonders.
Cliff Dwellings ‘on steroids’
His first stop was Mesa Verde National Park in the southwestern part of the state, which protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings built of sandstone and mud mortar. It is home to the largest, best-known and best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America.
Having visited the “impressive” Gila Cliff dwellings in New Mexico, Mikah said the ones at Mesa Verde were on a whole new level.
“They are 10 times bigger,” he said. “There are just so many ruins to look at, and hike to and from, and tour, that it’s basically a cliff dwelling site on steroids!”
Accompanied by a ranger, who was a family friend, he walked among the ancient structures, marveling at their beauty and architecture.
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, is not only a beautiful national park site, but historically significant as well. For seven centuries, starting around 1,500 years ago, the area was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people.
Their culture spanned the present-day “Four Corners” region of the United States – which is where four states – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah – meet. Today, that notable spot is a popular tourist destination, where visitors can literally place a limb in every state.