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Mesa Verde National Park

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Mesa Verde, Spanish for 'green table', offers an unparalleled opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300 people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Today most people call these sheltered villages 'cliff dwellings'. The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde. In the late 1200s within the span of one or two generations, they left their homes and moved away.

The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. Mesa Verde National Park offers visitors a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Scientists study the ancient dwellings of Mesa Verde, in part, by making comparisons between the Ancestral Pueblo people and their contemporary indigenous descendants who still live in the Southwest today. Twenty-four Native American tribes in the southwest have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde.

To fully enjoy Mesa Verde National Park, plan to spend a day or two exploring its world-class archeological sites as well as its beautiful landscape. The entrance to the park is 9 miles east of Cortez and 35 miles west of Durango in Southwestern Colorado on US Highway 160.

   

CONTACTS

Email - MEVE_General_Information@nps.gov

Fax- 970-529-4637

Write to
PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330-0008

Phone
Headquarters - 970-529-4465
Visitor Information - 970-529-4465
Visitor Information(TDD) - 970-529-4633

TRAVEL BASICS

Operating Hours, Seasons
Open daily, year-round. Chapin Mesa Museum is open from 8AM to 6:30AM mid-April to mid-October; 8AM to 5PM the rest of the year. Far View Visitor Center is open from 8AM to 5PM mid-April to mid-October. Ranger-guided tours and self-guided tours are available in Spring, Summer, and Fall. Limited services are available in Winter.

Getting There
PLANE - The nearest airports are Cortez, Colorado, Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico.

CAR - Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - The closest bus terminal is located in Durango, Colorado. Car rental is needed to get from the bus terminal to the park. The entrance to Mesa Verde is 35 miles from Durango.

Weather & Climate
Spring--variable, 30s and snow or 70s and sunny. Summer-- temperatures can reach the 90s. Afternoon thunderstorms in July and August. Fall--still warm during the day, cool nights. A possibility of snow in October. Winter--below freezing at night. As much as 3 to 4 feet of snow. Snowpacked and icy conditions.

Accessibility
Mesa Verde has limitations in access for people with vision, hearing, or mobility impairments. Persons with heart or respiratory ailments may have breathing problems in the thin air at park altitudes of up to 8,500 feet.

Getting Around
A vehicle is needed to see Mesa Verde.


CAMPING

Morefield Campground
There are over 400 standard camp sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. All other sites are open to the public. The campground rarely fills. Each site has a table, bench, and grill. Camping is open to tents and trailers. Restrooms, coin-operated showers, a laundry facility, gas station, and general store are found in Morefield Village.
For More Information on this campground please call 1-800-449-2288

LODGING

Far View Lodge
Located by Far View Visitor Center. A restaurant, cafeteria, and gift shop are located near the lodge.
For More Information on this lodging please call 1-800-449-2288

FACILITIES

Museums
CHAPIN MESA ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Open All Year
Phone - 970-529-4631
Location - The museum is located on Chapin Mesa, 20 miles from the park entrance.
Closures - Only in extreme weather or fire conditions.
Special Programs - Self-guided trail of Spruce Tree House in spring, summer, and fall. Free ranger-guided tour of Spruce Tree House in winter, 3 times daily. Park video plays in auditorium every half-hour.
Exhibits - Museum shows the chronology of the Ancestral Puebloan culture.
Available Facilities - Water and restrooms are located near the museum. A snack bar, gift shop, and bookstore are located near the museum.

Ranger Stations
MOREFIELD RANGER STATION
Phone - 970-529-6005
Location - Located on the road to the campground.
Special Programs - An evening program is presented at the campground amphitheater at 9pm every evening from May 27 to September 3, 2001. Topics vary nightly.
Exhibits - Leave No Trace Exhibit.
Available Facilities - The ranger statioin offers tour ticket sales, book sales, and information. Located near the ranger station is a campground, grocery store, gas station, showers, restrooms, and laundry facilities.

Visitor Centers
FAR VIEW VISITOR CENTER
Phone - 970-529-5036
Location - Far View Visitor Center is located 15 miles from the park entrance.
Closures - Closed for Winter season, October 22, 2000 until mid-April 2001.
Special Programs - Periodic weekend cultural demonstrations are held in the Summer on balcony of Visitor Center. See Special Events Schedule at http://www.nps.gov/meve/mvnp/pages/special.htm for more details.
Exhibits - Historic Native American jewelry, pottery, and basket displays. Nordenskiold exhibit.
Available Facilities - Tickets for cliff dwelling tours can be purchased here. Restrooms located at Visitor Center. The lodge, restaurant, cafeteria, and gift shop are located near the Visitor Center.

  Map
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Detailed Map


Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates


Campgrounds Nearby
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List of Nearby Campgrounds


Weather
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Local weather forecast


OUTDOORS
These outdoors activities are available near Mesa Verde National Park.
 Campgrounds Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Mesa Verde National Park - Morefield Camp Ground, Mesa Verde National Park, 0 miles away
Morfield Campground, Montezuma County, 0 miles away
A & A Mesa Verde Recreational Vehicle Park, Mancos, 2 miles away
Ancient Cedars at Mesa Verde RV Resort, Mancos, 3 miles away
Mesa Verde RV Resort, Cortez, 3 miles away
Morefield Village, Mesa Verde, 3 miles away
Mesa Verde Dispersed, Mesa Verde National Park, 3 miles away
 Hotels Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Far View Lodge, Cortez , 4 miles away
Echo Basin Dude And Guest Ranch LLC, Mancos , 9 miles away
Days Inn Cortez, Cortez , 10 miles away
Hampton Inn Mesa Verde-Cortez CO, Cortez , 10 miles away
Baymont Inn & Suites Cortez, Cortez , 10 miles away
Retro Inn At Mesa Verde, Cortez , 10 miles away
Holiday Inn Express MESA VERDE-CORTEZ, Cortez , 10 miles away
 Trails Near Mesa Verde National Park:
East Rim Trail, Montezuma County , 2 miles away
Old Tourist Trail, Montezuma County , 3 miles away
Frink Trail, Montezuma County , 4 miles away
Whites Trail, Montezuma County , 5 miles away
APW Trail, Montezuma County , 5 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Hesperus Ski Center, Colorado , 25 miles away, 700 foot drop, 2 lifts, 5 runs
Purgatory, Colorado , 46 miles away, 2029 foot drop, 11 lifts, 85 runs
Telluride, Colorado , 52 miles away, 3845 foot drop, 18 lifts, 115 runs
Silverton, Colorado , 59 miles away, 3200 foot drop, 1 lifts, 1 runs
Kendall Mountain, Colorado , 60 miles away, 400 foot drop, 1 lifts, 3 runs
Powderhorn, Colorado , 99 miles away, 1650 foot drop, 4 lifts, 44 runs
 Whitewater Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Dolores River, Montezuma.Dolores County , 29 miles away, Class II-III - 19 miles long (McPhee Reservoir to Dove Creek Pump Station)
 Public Lands Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Yucca House National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park - CO , 0 miles away
Hovenweep National Monument, Cortez - CO , 22 miles away
Aztec Ruins National Monument, Aztec - NM , 39 miles away
Mancos State Park, Colorado , 12 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Mesa Verde National Park:
Conquistador Golf Course, Cortez , 10 miles away
South Forty Golf Course, Cortez , 11 miles away
 Lakes Near Mesa Verde National Park
Puett Reservoir, Montezuma County , 7 miles away
Summit Reservoir, Montezuma County , 7 miles away
Totten Lake, Montezuma County , 9 miles away
Joe Moore Reservoir, Montezuma County , 10 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.