Explore Ancient Ruins at Mesa Verde National Park
Colorado, United States
Just a short 1.5 hr drive from Dunton is Mesa Verde National Park. Home to ancestral puebloans, you can explore the 'Cliff Palace' with its ladders, narrow tunnels and ascending steps. Visit the museum, take a tour of the dwellings and hike ancient trails
Tucked in the Southwest most corner of Colorado, Mesa Verde is home of the Ancestral Puebloans. This especially unique archaeological preserve offers you the chance to visit the mesa and cliff dwellings from 750-1300 AD. Climb ladders, navigate narrow tunnels, and ascend some steps of altitude - the two most popular visits include the Cliff Palace (largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde) and the Balcony House (most challenging cliff dwelling accessible to visitors.) Along with these two cliff dwellings, the Spruce Tree House is a “can’t miss” for descending a ladder into the only Kiva (Hopi for “ceremonial room”) with a reconstructed roof (which traditionally served as a patio within the dwellings.)
Walk through history in the park’s museum, located just above the Spruce Tree House… Learn more about the evolution of architecture, from Pithouses to Pueblos on the Chapin Mesa Loop drive… Embark on a longer distance adventure out to Wetherhill Mesa (only open in the Summer), which leads to the Step House and Long House (hosting the longest seep spring)... Hike the Petroglyph Point Trail or Spruce Canyon Trail.
Take a full day trip with a guide, typically depart around 7am, to allow for plenty of time to purchase tickets for the various Cliff Dwelling tours and enjoy a nice picnic lunch! It’s your day, so our guide is happy to speak with you about what you would like to experience during your visit to the park, to best utilize your time.
Alternatively, ask Dunton to pack you a picnic lunch, provide you with a map and go and explore solo.