Discover Native American Culture: Colorados Mesa Verde National Park | Reader's Digest

Discover Native American Culture: Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado© 2009 Shutterstock/David WatkinsThe Cliff Palace site is the centerpiece of Mesa Verde (green table), named by Spanish explorers for the flatness of its forested terrain.

Cortez, Colorado

Mesa Verde Country has been home to Native American Puebloans for thousands of years. Come marvel at the lasting marks of their heritage, the dwellings of their ancestors, who for more than 700 years made the canyons, cliffs, and mesa tops of Mesa Verde their thriving and populous home until they moved away in the early 14th century.

With more than 4,800 known archaeological sites and 600 of the best-preserved, multistoried cliff dwellings in the United States, the park is an archaeologist’s treasure trove. Cliff Palace, a 150-room living space that once housed about 100 people, awaits visitors to scale up the cliff walls and enter it. Hike along self-guiding tours, climb ladders to go in and out of cliff dwellings, drive by, or take a bus tour through this marvel.

Open year-round, but many sites closed in winter months.

www.nps.gov/MEVE

(970) 529-4465