Colorado National Park - Mesa Verde National Park - summer in colorado

Summer Guide


Mesa Verde is one of the greatest, and perhaps the most mysterious, historical monuments of America. Its discovery in the 19th century expanded the horizon of American history by at least 300 years, which in those days came in handy – the Americans, especially the educated descendants of the first settlers, were already beginning to be weary of the youth of their newly emerged state:

  • Location

  • How to get to Mesa Verde

  • What to do in Mesa Verde National Park

    • What to see in Mesa Verde National Park

  • Enjoy the historical landmarks

  • What to see in Mesa Verde National Park

    • Cliff Palace
    • Balcony House
  • Enjoy the magnificent nature


The park, located in southwest Colorado, It is known for its well-preserved ancestral Pueblo rock dwellings, in particular the huge Palace of the Cliffs. Recommended to see: Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum Mesa Top Loop Road Sun Point skyline Petroglyph Point Trail Area: 51.8 acres (210.4 km2)

Summer in Colorado

How to get to Mesa Verde

Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, Mesa Verde became a National Park, so access to its territory is limited. However, the rational American approach to protected areas is very pragmatic – subject to compliance with the rules, everyone is allowed into the national park.
Even by spacious American standards, Mesa Verde is a remote wilderness. The state of Colorado, in which the national park is located, is in itself a wilderness, and even from its capital Denver to Mesa Verde 700 km (435 miles). The nearest decent Albuquerque airport is 450 km (280 miles), but by American standards, these distances mean almost nothing. Highway USA-160 passes near Mesa Verde, which is used by all visitors to the national cancer. For entry from the car they take $ 10, for group tourists – mostly schoolchildren and Chinese – the visit is included in the price of the tour.

What to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Enjoy the historical landmarks

Indian settlements on the Mesa Verde Plateau were discovered in the 1870s. Even the first fragmentary studies found a major Mesa Verde contradiction. On the one hand, it turned out that not all Indians lived with their squaws in wigwams, some did not even shy away from stone dwellings. Moreover, some Indians lived settled in stone towns. The quality of construction in these towns is impressive even now, and it has developed with visible dynamics. Having settled in the caves, people eventually got out of them and began to build dwellings from stone, fastened with clay mortar, from the outside. For reinforcement and ceilings, wooden beams were competently used. In the end, they learned to build entire palaces from hundreds of rooms.
On the other hand, the inhabitants of Mesa Verde at the end of the 13th century disappeared somewhere at once, leaving no trace. History knows examples of such disappearance, but usually small short-term settlements disappeared, and a whole people disappeared from Mesa Verde with a thousand years of experience living in this area. And he disappeared, leaving no cultural artifacts. The maximum technical achievements were baskets and ceramics, and the arts were limited to petroglyphs and frescoes in the spirit of childish minimalism. But these people lived in those days when in Europe the Greek civilization was replaced by the Roman one, the dark ages were advancing and the dawn of the Renaissance was already dawning. On the American continent, it turns out, everything was either much later than in the Old World, or the local civilization followed a completely different path. In general, from a historical point of view, Mesa Verde is a very curious place.

What to see in Mesa Verde National Park

Nature in Mesa Verde is typical of these latitudes in the central United States – forested plains, over which plateaus rise here and there. Actually, Mesa Verde is one of these plateaus, pushed 600 meters up from sea level. Nature does not differ in fabulous wealth, especially in winter, but the area is quite picturesque. Yet the main attraction of Mesa Verde is the traces of Indian civilization.

Cliff Palace

Mesa Verde National Park in USA

Business card of Mesa Verde. A whole multi-story palace built on the edge of a plateau. In its 125 rooms, a modern motorized rifle regiment could well fit. According to the “palace on the rock” it is clear that the inhabitants did not live in poverty – some walls are painted – and had at least primitive ideas about heat transfer.
The rock dwellings of the ancient Indians resemble modern apartment buildings. Mesa Verde is home to one of the most impressive monuments of Anasazi culture, the Cliff Palace. It consists of 150 living rooms, 75 courtyards, as well as several storerooms and 23 “kivas” – round ritual rooms. The Balcony House is the most exotic and impregnable of all settlements. It hangs over a rocky abyss at a height of 180 meters. A visitor to the House with a Balcony cannot do without climbing equipment.
To get into the dwelling, you need to go down into the canyon along a suspended ladder, crawl through a stone tunnel and climb up the depressions carved into the rock. Among the well-known buildings are the ritual “House of Eli” (120 rooms), “Long House” (150 rooms). The walls of almost all buildings are made of sandstone slabs, coated with clay and plastered. Many rooms are decorated with rock paintings. After 700 years, Mesa Verde is again crowded – a national park is open there all year round. Every year it is visited by 700 thousand tourists

Balcony House

One of the few structures in Mesa Verde that has a pronounced defensive character. Even now, to visit it, you need to crawl through a five-meter tunnel, there are no more approaches to the building, located on a rocky ledge. But this house also emphasizes either the backwardness of the Indians, or the fundamentally different nature of technical civilization – even the Mongol-Tatars would have smashed it with their stone throwers, not to mention siege mortars.

Enjoy the magnificent nature

Mesa Verde means “Green Plateau” in Spanish. The name is due to the local landscapes – the plateau is covered with coniferous forest, which is dominated by Colorado pine, beautiful junipers with blue-green needle-shaped needles and aloe yucca.


With a little preparation, a spirit of adventure, and a soft spot for nature
and the past, you’ll be on the trail to exploring Colorado like a local


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