The history & beauty of Mesa Verde National Park

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CORTEZ — Mesa Verde National Park is one of the four National Parks located in Colorado. It was the first National Park set aside to preserve the works of man.

Mesa Verde is known primarily for its cliff dwellings and historic background. For more than 700 years, Ancestral Pueblo people made it their homes (from AD 600 to 1300).

“They built the cliff dwellings [from] roughly 1100-1300 and that’s when they left this area and moved further south,” explained Cristy Brown, Public Information Officer for Mesa Verde National Park. “They’re actually built in to the cliff sides. We call those alcoves. Not caves. Because caves are underground”.

That was the past. In the present, the park has nearly 5,000 archeological sites which it protects; 600 of those sites are cliff dwellings.

“ It’s simple rock and mortar construction using juniper timbers to create multi-stories,” Brown said.

Mesa Verde is Spanish for ‘green table’. The National Park is roughly 7.5-8 hours from Denver.

To learn more about it, click here.

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