There are moments in people’s lives when they remember the first time a fire was lit for their life’s passion. I absolutely can recall the first time I learned about gourmet cheeses, and that fire of fine foods was lit. The humorous thing was that the gourmet food fire lit about the same time my sense for travel ignited. I was about ten or eleven years old and in the 5th grade.
Mesa Verde National Park, was the first place that I can remember that intrigued my sense for travel and adventure. I can still remember sitting at my desk in the 5th grade while my teacher was speaking about Mesa Verde, as I inquisitively turned the pages of the book. Looking at the photos of the cliff dwellings, I felt a surge of curiosity for the area and a sense of adventure.
Years had past, life went on and I had never made it to Mesa Verde. Although I had traveled throughout the Southwest and Mid-West for awhile, these incredible cliff dwellings were still on my bucket list. Then one year, we decided on doing a two week road trip through Colorado. Since I was in charge of the trip planning, Mesa Verde was on the top of my list. I cannot tell you how excited I was to visit, it took over two decades for me to get there!
The great thing was that I had taken my daughter, who at that time was about the same age as I was, when I learned about Mesa Verde.
The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were incredible and just how I had imagined them when I was ten years old. The tours of Mesa Verde were well done and brought you into the dwellings, where you learned how the Ancestral Pueblo people lived. Getting to and from the dwellings was very easy. We started at the top of the bluffs and were guided down paths or up ladders. It was easier than how the ancient people originally entered the cliff dwellings, if you can imagine!
The whole of Colorado is a magnificent area to explore and is one of the most beautiful states in America. It is full of natural beauty, majestic landscapes and intriguing history. Mesa Verde is one of the most visited National parks in Colorado and the United States. As I had mentioned, these cliff dwellings ignited that fire in me to travel and have adventures. Mesa Verde and Colorado are both very special places on this planet and are exciting bucket list items, if you have not added them yet.
History: The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were once inhabited by Ancestral Pueblo people for over 700 years, from 650 to 1300 CE. They survived by hunting, gathering and farming of the three sisters: squash, corn and beans. By the late 1200’s, these ancient people migrated to parts of New Mexico and Arizona due to drought, social and environmental instability.
Today, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and well preserved in the United States. The park protects close to 5,000 archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.
In 1906, Mesa Verde National Park was established in order to preserve and interpret this extraordinary archeological site and and was inscripted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.
For more park information and current fees, please visit their website – Mesa Verde National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
— Where to stay: Far View Lodge—
The best place to stay while visiting Mesa Verde is the Far View Lodge. I can personally recommend this place as we had stayed and dined here during our visit. Each room has its own personal balcony which was lovely in the mornings. I remember sitting on the the balcony during sunrise with a cup of coffee, and watching a deer just passing through.
Far View Lodge information and reservations: Lodging – Mesa Verde National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
— Photo Journal —
Don’t Listen to what they say, Go See…
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