Mesa Verde National Park

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A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Country: USA
Continent: North America
Constructed: 600 - 1300 A.D.

Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) is the largest archaeological preserve in the United States.

Mesa Verde National Park is located in Montezuma County, Colorado. The park lies in the southwest corner of Colorado and is situated on a plateau at an altitude of more than 2600 meters (8,500 feet). It is about 10 miles east of Cortez, Colorado and about 36 miles west of Durango, Colorado. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park to "preserve the works of man".

The Mesa Verde is considered to be the site of the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan culture and offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people dating back from 600 to 1300 A.D. Today the park contains more than 4000 archeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people and the mesa top sites of pithouses, pueblos, masonry towers, and farming structures. These are the most remarkable and incredibly well preserved sites in the United States.

Mesa Verde is well known for a large number of well-preserved cliff dwellings, houses built in shallow caves and under rock overhangs along the canyon walls. Primarily living and farming on the mesa top, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms.

These cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most remarkable and incredibly well preserved. Many well known cliff dwellings in the park include Balcony House, Cliff Palace, Long House, Spruce Tree House, and Step House. Some of the mesa top archeological sites in Mesa Verde National Park are Badger House Community, Cedar Tree Tower, Far View Sites Complex, and Sun Temple.

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Nearest Airport

The nearest airports are Durango-La Plata County Airport (Durango, Colorado), Cortez Municipal Airport (Cortez, Colorado), Four Corners Regional Airport (Farmington, New Mexico), and Telluride Regional Airport (Telluride, Colorado).

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