How do you describe Mesa Verde? beautiful doesn’t cut it, amazing falls flat and breath taking is over used these days. I’m going to choose the word “inspiring”. Inspiring that people with such limited technology could build such beautiful cities, inspiring that they would use the very landscape of their homes to protect their way of life from attacking outsiders, inspiring that it has lasted to this day for future generations to observe, learn from and find inspiration from.
Mesa Verde, for those of you who are not aware of this Colorado treasure, is a UNESCO world heritage site and the best kept history of the ancient pueblo people of the Colorado Mesa region. Here is the link to the Wikipedia page for more history and information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_Verde_National_Park
I first heard of this site from a USA national parks guide book, and have fallen absolutely in love with it. Being a huge history buff, I loved learning about this people group that I knew so little about, and was fascinated with the archeological sites we got to visit. We went on two separate hikes to two different sites, and both were amazing for different reasons.
The first had the most amazing view and a literal city of buildings and history to observe. The second had a literal “breathtaking” hike up steep cliffs, ladders that suspended over nothing and paths that disappeared into rock walls or left you hanging on to a path wide enough for an agile mountain goat and little else. I happen to love heights and adrenaline, so i loved every minute of it. But this is the kind of post that is going to rely heavily on pictures as my words just can’t describe this amazing place. Enjoy!
After our trip to Mesa Verde, we were off to our next big hike, Antelope Canyon. It wasn’t until we were on our way that we learned that we had just narrowly avoided total disaster. The night that we had driven through the rain leaving Denver is the same night that half of Colorado flooded. Counting our lucky stars, we drove to Arizona, once again in the pouring rain. So much for the desert being dry. We definitely brought the wettest summer the south west had ever seen with us!
The Medical Diagnosis
Cost: $10 park entrance fee per vehicle, $4 for the ranger guided tour of the cliff sites (since they are UNESCO protected, it is not allowed to visit them without a guide)
Things to See: besides the two sites we went and saw, there are many more to visit. Since we were pressed for time we just saw the top two and they were well worth it!
Have you visited this UNESCO Heritage site? what other UNESCO sites have you visited?