The park is located on the Mesa Verde plateau about 10 miles east of Cortez Colorado. Mesa Verde National Park has the status of being the only cultural Park in the national Park system. The main attractions to this park are the cliff dwellings in the canyons overhangs and the Pueblo buildings on the plateaus above. This area was inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo People from 1100 to 1300 A.D. Spruce tree House located behind the Chapin Mesa Museum is the third-largest Cliff dwelling with 130 rooms and 8 Kivas is accessible by a self-guided trail….[Read more below]
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The three other accessible cliff dwellings are Cliff Palace the largest with 150 rooms and 23 kivas, balcony house is high in the Cliffs of soda Canyon and requires climb up a 32 foot ladder and longhouse the second largest with 150 rooms and 21 kivas are all accessible only by a guided tour. first thing to do when you get to the park is to visit the Far View visitor center to purchase tickets for the tours ($3.00 ea.). The area is also inhabited by wildlife such as mule deer, coyotes, turkey vultures, stellar jays, hummingbirds, chipmunks, nonpoisonous bull snakes and the beautiful turquoise Yellow-headed collard lizard. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these lizards he will gladly pose for pictures. If you are in the area this is a Park not to be missed. The the photographic opportunities are endless. I photographed Cliff Palace and balcony house in the shady parts of the day and used tripod. all of the photographs were shot in HDR or (high dynamic range photography). There is lodging and camping in the park. There are many other cliff dwellings that are not accessible, but many of them can be viewed from the canyons edge along the road.