A recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site for its rich archaeological history, this national park is famous for the elaborate sandstone cliff dwellings built by the Ancestral Puebloans into alcoves in the canyon walls. The park protects over 5,000 sites and over 600 cliff dwellings that date back to more than 1,400 years and can be explored throughout the year.
Mesa Verde National Park History
Protecting Our Nation’s Heritage
In 1906, the US government established Mesa Verde National Park in order to protect the rich history of America’s ancestral Pueblo tribes, who lived in the area for more than 700 years. With over 5,000 archaeological sites within the park, many of them in pristine form and completely accessible to tourists, Mesa Verde is a can’t-miss experience on your national park bucket list.
Points of Interest
Famous for its status as the largest cliff dwelling in North America, the stunning views and experiential nature of the climb are unparalleled. See how native Puebloans lived, with tours through well-preserved cliffside structures on a scale you’ll need to see to believe.
With guided walking tours and a wealth of information for the curious tourist, Balcony House is one of the foremost cliff dwelling locations in Mesa Verde National Park. Ascending ladders to dizzying heights gives curious explorers a taste of life in this ancient Puebloan dwelling.
Far View Lodge
Located 15 miles from the park entrance, Far View Lodge is the only lodging located in Mesa Verde National Park. Enjoy the lodge's Western decor, great dining and tranquility of Mesa Verde.
Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center
Before entering the park, the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center is a great place to plan your visit. The center features exhibits that help guide your visit, as well as helpful facilities such as a bookstore with trail guides, and maps.