Mesa Verde National Park is truly a National Treasure! There is so much to see here; so please, please, make sure you give yourself at least two to three days here.
The visitor center should be your first stop. This is where I recommend buying your tickets for the different tours. The tours to the different cliff dwellings sell out quickly. The visitor center also has beautiful artwork and exhibits that give you an understanding of the area.
This statue is called "The Storyteller"
You know its hot out when the convertibles have their tops up and air conditioners on.
Mesa Verde is best known for its cliff dwellings. The Ancient Puebloans lived here from 600 to 1300 CE. There are over 600 cliff dwellings and over 5,000 archeological site...that they know of.
Most of the tours require a fairly good level of fitness. There are steep stairs and ladders to be navigated, so start working out before going to Mesa Verde.
The first cliff dwelling we toured was the famous Cliff Palace.
And then it was time for the climb back up to the mesa.
We went on to explore more cliff dwellings. Lots more!
It was a little smoky from the Durango fires; so don't adjust your screen.
There were also pit houses at Mesa Verde. They were built on top of the mesas.
Water was collected in these bowl-like rocks after a rain
Can you find the ancient hand print?
Black Collared Lizard
Aren't these lizards beautiful?
Quick story about one of those serendipitous moments. I was hiking back to camp my last night and had to pass through the campground amphitheater. There was a group of young adults having a meeting there and I excused myself for having to pass through. I was almost out of the amphitheater when a young man said, "Ma'am, is there anything you need prayer for?" So I ended up doing an impromptu speech to the group about what I was doing in all the National Parks. I did tell them that this final leg of the campaign had been especially difficult. So they all gathered around me and prayed for my worsening lungs, osteoporosis, and grief. I was incredibly grateful for this group of spiritual young adults who took time to pray and minister to me.
Mesa Verde is not only a sacred site to the Puebloan people but to us too. We brought Anna here as a child. Our hearts and minds were flooded with memories everywhere we turned in the park.
Here are some pictures of the trip we did with her and our friends Debbie, Eric, Callie & Natalie Klotz from Utah.
Anna climbing out of a ceremonial Kiva
Anna, Natalie & Callie
Natalie, Anna & Callie experiencing how to grind corn.
Working on getting the Junior Ranger badge
Natalie, Callie & Anna proudly displaying their
Junior Ranger Badges and certificates after being sworn
into the National Park System. Aren't they all adorable?
The sacred spaces of the Ancient Ones continues to be sacred to the Puebloan people and in our hearts too because of one very special little girl, named Anna Rose.