As we headed back home to Arizona on our last day of our road trip, we made a stop at Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez, Colorado.
Between 600 to 1300 AD, the Anasazi inhabited Mesa Verde. There are over four thousand archaeological sites and over six hundred cliff dwellings at the site. These cliff dwellings weren't built until the late 1190's.
To get to the first of the major cliff dwellings, it is about a 30 minute drive from the visitor center, 40 minutes if you get stuck behind a tour bus. Due to lack of time, we opted out of all guided tours. There is only one major cliff dwelling, the Spruce Tree House, that doesn't require a tour. There is also a museum nearby.
Inside the museum:
Cliff Palace (requires a guided tour):
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