mesa

  • Colorado
  • Established June 29, 1906
  • 80 square miles

Mesa Verde National Park is a mesa that rises several thousand feet from the valley below it. In 550 CE, the Ancient Pueblos moved to Mesa Verde, where they lived for more than 700 years. They lived in pit-houses, which later evolved into kivas, in small villages. Most often their subterranean houses were built on mesa tops, and sometimes they were built into the sides of cliffs. At one time, 100,000 people lived on Mesa Verde, along a road system that connected trade routes. It was only in the last 100 years that the Ancient Pueblos lived in the cliff dwellings for which the Mesa is now known. They lived in those cliff dwellings for a couple generations and then left fairly abruptly. No one knows where they went, or why.

Visitors to Mesa Verde can join a guided tour to see several of the extensive cliff dwellings along the mesa. According to America’s National Parks, “Walking around Cliff Palace can feel like wandering into something slightly taboo; a place where the dead remain, but where the living may only visit. This site houses the spirits and ancestors of the Pueblo culture—as many modern Pueblo people would tell you themselves.” Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Around the Mesa, are many examples of the elaborate pottery made by the Ancient Pueblos.

National Parks Revealed will help you make the most of your visit to Mesa Verde. We will create a custom itinerary for your group. We work with local guides to help you make the most of your visit. We will suggest driving routes, local restaurants, and of course we know the best and most luxurious accommodations in the area. We recommend combining a trip to Mesa Verde with visits to other local national parks; contact us and we’ll begin discussing exactly what you’re looking for.