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Mesa Verde National Park offers some of the most notable and best-preserved archaeological sites in the United States. Scientists study the ancient dwellings of Mesa Verde, in part, by making comparisons between the Ancestral Pueblo people and their contemporary indigenous descendants who still live in the Southwest today. Twenty-four Native American tribes in the southwest have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde.
Explore The History Of Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is the nation's richest archaeological preserve with over 4000 sites. Learn about the culture and architecture of the Ancestral Puebloan people through a variety of fascinating guided tours. Whether you plan a getaway for two or a group function, we'll help you make the most of your visit to Mesa Verde!
Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table," offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. The culture represented at Mesa Verde National Park reflects more than 700 years of history. Today most people call these sheltered villages "cliff dwellings. " During their last century, some Pueblo Indians of Mesa Verde left the mesa tops and built their homes in the alcoves that abound in the many canyon walls. This last period marks the climax of the Pueblo culture in Mesa Verde and is known as the Classic Pueblo Period (A.D. 1100-1300). The exact number of dwellings in Mesa Verde is unknown, but over 600 cliff dwellings have been documented.
To fully enjoy Mesa Verde, plan to spend a day or two exploring its world-class archaeological sites as well as its beautiful landscape. The entrance to Mesa Verde is 9 miles east of Cortez and 35 miles west of Durango in Southwestern Colorado on US Highway 160.