There are 20 UNESCO heritage sites within the USA, and Mesa Verde National Park is one of them! This incredible location in Colorado has over 5,000 protected archeological sites, which include 600 cliff dwellings.
Can you imagine living in these carved out homes? It will certainly give kids a great insight into how people used to live for over 700 years, starting at AD 600 to AD 1300. (They might realize they don't have it so bad now!)
These cliff dwellings are some of the best preserved in the entire continent of North America. After living on the mesa top for almost 600 years the Ancestral Puebloans began to build beneath the overhanging cliffs.
These amazing structures range in size. There are one room storage unites, and there are entire villages of more than 150 rooms! Pretty incredible!
The mesa tops turns into use for farming, while for over a century they repaired and remodelled the alcoves they lived in.
By the late 1270's the Ancestral Puebloans began to migrate south, and 30 years later Mesa Verde was no longer occupied.
Which is great for us now, because you get to enjoy these amazing sites with the family!
There's even a palace!
Kids will have a great time, because Mesa Verde National Park has Junior Ranger Program where kids aged 4 - 12 can actually become a Junior Ranger - pretty cool! The visitor center and museum have the activity booklets, so pick one up so they can earn the badge!
A fascinating and historical day out for the kids where they can learn AND have a great time!
$10/$15 for private vehicles, $5/$8 for individuals.
Annual Pass $30
Make sure you visit the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center, as well as the Chaplin Mesa Archaeological Museum and Spruce Tree House!
The headquarters are an one hour drive from Cortez heading east on Hwy 160, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango heading west on Hwy 160/
Mesa Verde is an amazing place for kids to visit! You can use the park as a classroom, and they can help you plan an amazing died trip!
There are limitations for people with mobility impairments. There are steep cliffs and deep canyons, and wheelchairs with wide rim wheels are recommended on the trails.
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Visitor center hours vary on season. Open between 7:30am to 8:30am, and closes between 4:30pm to 7pm
Daily, all year around.
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Mesa Verde National Park