Into the Park

Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado — September 12, 2009

We arrived at Mesa Verde early enough to relax for a while before heading further into the park.

(click on any of the following photos to view a larger image.)

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View of the sky over Mesa Verde National Park

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It’s a mother-in-law warning device! (see previous post on it.) from display at Far View Visitor Center

spruce tree house trail

Spruce Tree House was constructed between AD 1211 and 1278 by the ancestors of the Puebloan peoples of the Southwest. The dwelling contains about 130 rooms and 8 kivas (kee-vahs), or ceremonial chambers, built into a natural cave measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth. It is thought to have been home for about 80 people.

mesa verde sky

knife's edge

Knife’s Edge, location of the old pre-1950s harrowing route into the park.
fire evidence at mesa verde

Evidence of past wild fires can be seen throughout the park, some quite recent.

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House is the third largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde.  Unlike other cliff dwellings in the parks, Spruce Tree House can be accessed without a ranger guided tour, though rangers will be on duty at the ruin when the trail is open.

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House was opened for visitation following excavation by Dr. Jesse Walter Fewkes of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Fewkes removed the debris of fallen walls and roofs and stabilized the remaining walls.

It was discovered in 1888 by two local ranchers searching for stray cattle.

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Commentary and images from the road

image and information from September 12, 2009

This post is being simultaneously published
on Exit78 and Haw Creek Out ‘n About

Spruce Tree House information is from National Park Service web page — Spruce Tree House

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