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Mesa Verde National Park
- Mesa Verde National Park
- THE AMERICAS
- Alt Name:
- Green Table National Park
- United States
- Pre-Colonial North America
- 1000BC - 501BC
- Montezuma Castle,
about Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park or “green table” national park is a breathtaking Native American site dotted with over 4,000 archaeological treasures, including 600 exceptionally well preserved cliff dwellings dating back to 600 AD.
Mesa Verde National Park was once the home of the Pueblos, a Native American people who lived there for over 700 years before migrating to New Mexico and Arizona. Made of sandstone, mortar and wooden beams, the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde sprawl across the beautiful landscape, some built on the mesa tops.
Some of the sites, such as the Cliff Palace and Balcony House with its over 150 rooms can only be viewed as part of a ranger tour, for which you can buy tickets at Far View Visitor Center before attending the sites. It’s also well worth viewing the large collection of artifacts on display.
At over 52,000 acres, it would be easy to spend days exploring Mesa Verde National Park and in fact it takes two hours alone to drive into and out of the park. You should plan to spend at least four hours here, during which you should start at the Far View Visitors Centre, perhaps moving onto the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and Spruce Tree House or to the Mesa Top Loop Road.
The National Park Service website contains a variety of itinerary suggestions for different timescales. There are plans to replace the Far View Visitor Centre with a new centre and research facility in the entrance to the park. It is also well worth looking up opening times as many of the attractions are seasonal.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Mesa Verde National Park is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Mesa Verde National Park, Mesa Verde, CO 81330-0008
Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a 1-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff. Far View Visitor Center is located 15 miles from the park entrance.
The Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum and Spruce Tree House are open all year, but many areas inc. Wetherill Mesa, Far View Visitor Center and accommodation are closed in winter. Further details available on the NPS website. When Visitors Centre is closed (Oct-May), tickets can be purchased from the museum. Jan-May and Sept-Dec the private car entry fee is $10, 24 May-7 Sept, it costs $15. Tickets valid for 7 days.
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