Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloan people who made this region their home for over 700 years. From the 7th to the 14th centuries this was a thriving community and the park now protects over 4,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings that are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.
The park is set high in the densely wooded plateaux of southwest Colorado, cut at its southern edge by deep canyons, and was so far off the beaten track that it was not fully explored until 1888. The highly skilled Ancestral Puebloans are thought to have been the only people ever to have inhabited the region. After many centuries they moved from the mesa tops to construct multi-storey houses nestled in rocky alcoves high above the canyons.
The most notable ruins include Balcony House, Long House and Spruce Tree House but the highlight is surely Cliff Palace. This extraordinary building is tucked 100 feet below an overhanging rock ledge and its 217 rooms once housed more than 200 people. A visit here provides a haunting evocation of a lost and little known world.
Suggested itinerary featuring Mesa Verde National Park
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Mesa Verde National Park, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
Map of Mesa Verde National Park
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Places near Mesa Verde National Park
- Durango 33 miles away
- Telluride 61 miles away
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park 92 miles away
- Kayenta, Monument Valley 105 miles away
- Canyonlands National Park 109 miles away
- Moab 111 miles away
- Arches National Park 120 miles away
- Grand Junction 127 miles away
- Alamosa 144 miles away
- Aspen 163 miles away
- Page 167 miles away
- Santa Fe 177 miles away
- Torrey 178 miles away
- Albuquerque 180 miles away
- Winslow 198 miles away
- Vail 202 miles away
- Bryce Canyon National Park 206 miles away
- Colorado 212 miles away
- Grand Canyon National Park 213 miles away
- Utah 216 miles away
- Flagstaff 227 miles away
- Colorado Springs 228 miles away
- New Mexico 240 miles away
- Sedona 247 miles away
- Zion National Park 249 miles away
- Denver 256 miles away
- Estes Park 270 miles away
- Arizona 270 miles away
Photos of Mesa Verde National Park
Accommodation choices for Mesa Verde National Park
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Mesa Verde National Park. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Mesa Verde National Park