Mesa Verde: Home to Pueblo people in the 13th Century

Cliff Palace was the most spectacular ruin we saw today.

The Anasazis, now referred to as Ancenstral Pueblo people, built some of the most impressive North American structures during the 1100s and 1200s in what is now southwestern Colorado. Known as Mesa Verde, the villages were built beneath cliffs using sandstone.
Circular kivas were used for ceremonies. The Pueblo people lived in the cliff dwellings for only about 100 years. There are several theories about why they left: Drought, crop failures, or perhaps political problems?
It is about a 45-minute drive to the national park entrance from Durango, then 20 miles of mostly climbing to the museum and trail heads. By mid-April, when all the trails are open, Mesa Verde could easily provide three days of exploring.

The 20-mile drive from the park entrance provides spectacular views.

Spruce House is the best-preserved of the cliff dwellings.

The 2.4-mile trek to Petroglyph Point, shown in the photos below, was a cliff-hugging, up-and-down path that required us to register at the trailhead just in case. We might have walked past the petroglyphs if there had not been a small sign leading us to look to the wall above.

The Petroglyph Point walk provided some expansive vistas.

These petroglyphs have survived the elements for about 800 years.


The walk back provided settings reminiscent of the top of Half Dome in Yosemite.


Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Mesa Verde: Home to Pueblo people in the 13th Century

  1. Ellen

    So far your trip has been a learning adventure for me. I’m really enjoying the narrative and photos. Enjoy and keep us dated! Travel safely.


    • 2orangebags

      Hi Ellen, so glad you’re having fun “traveling” with us. We have seen some amazing sights! Thanks for following…it’s always great to hear from you. We love the feedback.


  2. I loved Mesa Verde. Have you read, Anasazi America? If you enjoy the history of this place, I highly recommend it.


  3. 2orangebags

    Thanks for the recommendation! Mesa Verde is impressive in many ways.


  4. I was at Mesa Verde years ago. So glad to see that you can still go inside and look around. Many pueblo ruins and cliff dwellings are being only opened for far away glances. loving your blog!


    • 2orangebags

      The Southwest is an amazing place. So glad you are enjoying our blog. Thanks for visiting carryoncouple! Sue

      Liked by 1 person

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