One of my favorite neighboring states to visit for a quick weekend or road trip has to be Colorado. I’ve explored Colorado from North to South, and there are so many beautiful cities, big and small, I will have to share with you all over the next few months. One of my favorite places to visit when I’m craving a weekend away is Southwestern Colorado, about a 3 hour drive from Albuquerque. Durango, Pagosa Springs, Telluride, Ouray are all some of my favorite places to visit in the Southwestern area. Quaint towns, filled with tons of natural beauty, outdoor activities, food, shopping and events. You name it, you can find it anywhere in Colorado!
Mesa Verde National Park is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. Just between Durango and Cortez, Colorado. I, myself, had never heard of Mesa Verde until I spent an extended time visiting and exploring the area. Ever since the park has been placed on my recommendation list for anyone visiting the area. The park protects some of the best-preserved Ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites in the United States. The cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park, suspected to have begun construction at the end of the 12th century, are reported to be one of the largest protected areas in the United States, home to over 600 cliff dwellings. Trust me, it is an amazing site to see in real life and if you are in the area, is a place you definitely should visit.
There are several options for exploring the park. You can begin by stopping by the visitors center, where you can purchase tickets, usually running $15-$20, grab a map to take along with you, speak with park rangers and park employees, and explore artifacts located at the the center. To best explore the park you can decide what option is best for you and your group. You can purchase a guided tour or just drive around to different looking points off the map and explore on your own, which is what I prefer. There are also park employees at most of the dwelling locations to answer questions and give you more information about the site.
The cliff dwellings are amazing!! With different view points marked off, you can park and easily hike to the nearest cliff dwelling. Along the way you will get a glimpse of some of Colorado’s stunning views. It is a great experience. If you love history, national parks, the outdoors or just adventures in general, this is an adventure for you!
For more information about Mesa Verde National Park please visit the following website: https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm