We visited Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado back in May 2011 as a part of our cross-country trip. We had rented a 31-foot motorhome for this epic adventure and were excited to see the infamous cliff dwellers’ ancestral homes.
Mesa Verde National Park requires extra driving time to reach the points of interest
First of all, we didn’t plan nearly enough time to visit Mesa Verde National park. Hence our time in the park was far too short and a little bit rushed.
In addition to being rushed, we drove atop high cliffs with very curvy roads. Because of the windy conditions, we had to go super slow. Also, being close to Memorial Day, we hit a lot of park traffic.
Thankfully the road had several turn outs and places to pull over so we could still enjoy the amazing views and vistas.
Mesa Verde is home to thousands of archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings
It took us about 45 minutes of driving before we spotted the first cliff dweller homes in the distance.
As we were up on the windy road, some were far off in the distance and difficult to see.
Thankfully I had modern technology and could zoom in.
Seeing these cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park made me wonder what drove these Ancestral Pueblo people to build their homes in such a recluse and hard to reach location.
How did they build the first dwelling and with what tools?
Where did they go?
I would have given anything to have had time to take a tour and to have climbed down into one of the dwellings.
Unfortunately, we already had campground reservations and dinner tickets to see the Bar-D-Wranglers perform later that evening and so we needed to leave time to exit the park and get to our destination on time.
As it was, we missed checking in at our campground and had to spend the night in a parking lot that evening, but that’s another story.
Viewing Mesa Verde National Park from your car is still worth the trip
While hiking down into the cliff dwellings would have been preferred, we still fully enjoyed seeing Mesa Verde National Park from our car.
That said, I would still like to return someday to get the full experience!
Have you been to Mesa Verde National Park? What was your favorite part? I’d love you to share your experiences in the comments below!
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