Rock Dwellings of Mesa Verde

Sandstone houses, Mesa Verde National Park, US
Sandstone houses, Mesa Verde National Park, US


LOCATION The rock dwellings (and park headquarters) lie 30 miles (48 km) from Cortez in southwest Colorado DATE OF


13th century DAYTIME


Jan: 25°F (-4°C); Apr: 45°F (7°C); Jul: 71°F (22°C); Oct: 50°F (10°C)

The well-preserved cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park provide a precious and fascinating insight into the life and times of the “lost civilization” of the Ancient Puebloans (formerly known as the “Anasazi”), ancestors of modern-day Native American peoples in the Southwest. The park and its natural cliff alcoves were inhabited from as early as AD 500, but it is thought that the 600 cliff homes here were not built until the 13th century.

Though these remarkable stone villages must have been a mighty building project for the community, they were inhabited for less than 100 years. The people and rock dwellings of Mesa Verde remain shrouded in mystery.

Practical Information

Getting There and Around Cortez is linked to the rest of the US by air and road. The area also offers car-rental companies, taxis, and intercity bus services.

When to Go June and September are probably the best months to visit.
July and August can be hot and stormy, and snow storms can occur from as early as October to as late as May.

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