"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Mancos, CO
Mancos State Park

We couldn't wait to see Mesa Verde as it's a National Park we have not seen yet in that area. Last time we tried to go was years ago with the kids but they had a devastating fire and the park was closed.
You drive over an hour to get up from the bottom of the park on a very narrow, windy road. The elevations in the park range from 6,900 feet to 8,572 feet.  We made it a long day and saw most everything including some hiking.  You could split it into 2 days if needed.  They have a nice visitor center at the bottom.

Great view from the top.

If visiting during peak summer days and you want to do one of the guided tours, I'd suggest making reservations early as they do book up.

Spruce Tree House

These canyons are huge.  We were surprised at how many cliff dwellings there are here and how large they are.

Square Tower House.  Built 1200 - 1300 AD.




Some are double decker.

You can take tours into 3 of the dwellings.

Balcony House was the more challenging and we couldn't take one of the others as it wasn't open to the public yet. 

 To do Balcony House you have to climb up some very steep ladders, some cables and a couple tunnels.  One which is 12 feet long and 18 inches wide.  They have duplicates in the visitor center so you can see if you are comfortable doing it. 

Once you commit to the hike, no turning back!

Many different sized Kiva's.

The tour was great.  You got to walk through quite a bit of the dwellings and view into many rooms.

Steve coming through the tunnel.  A little snug.

The ladders were a bit scary to me as it's a long way down if you fell!  I can't believe I saw people who really shouldn't have been on this tour.  Some even had very young, multiple children!

Some of the cables.  Straight up.

It was a long day but very glad we were able to visit this time.
Driving back and forth to Cortez and Mesa Verde from our campsite in Mancos, we passed by this interesting site many times. Seems there was a fuel spill while old gasoline tanks were being removed from an old gas station.  There is still quite a bit of mitigation going on.  It sure gets your attention as you drive by.  I googled it to get more info.
The owner hung up all these signs to bring more attention.  It reads "This toxic mess brought to you by state of Colorado".

Another, "Massive petroleum spill, toxic site".

Lots of skull and crossbones too.

"Got cancer yet?"
On a lighter note.  Just down the street is this funky outside art on display and for purchase.

Listed on Roadside America are some giant arrows.  This is a fun website to find cool, quirky things.

Mancos is a very pretty, agriculture town and we really are enjoying our time here.


  1. We went there last year. The structures in the park are amazing. Great Pictures!

  2. Mesa Verde looks really neat, Debbie! I've always wanted to go there.

    1. We were very impressed! Lots of very interesting history!

  3. Those dwellings look way cool...definitely have to hit those!! Look a lot bigger than Gila?

    1. MUCH bigger than Gila! And worth it to take the guided tour. Even more fun when you actually walk through them and get to ask more questions.

  4. Wow! Mesa Verde looks very impressive. Great photos!

    1. It's a park not to be missed! A definite ALL day deal.

  5. Got to add Mesa Verde to our to do list! Great photos.

    1. It's a great park. Definitely surprised us with how big it is and so much to see!


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