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Tag Archives: Mesa Verde National Park

We arrived in Cortez late in the afternoon and drove out to the park headquarters to pickup some information and plan for the following day. The next morning we headed into the park. One of the advantages of traveling in the shoulder seasons is there are fewer people in the parks. One of the disadvantages is that many of the park attractions are closed. In the case of Mesa Verde this was particularly noticeable because there were no tours of ruins being offered.

We started out the day hiking the Petroglyph Point Trail. Fortunately the trail was mostly in the shade early in the morning. It turned out to be one of the more difficult trails we have hiked recently. Lots of narrow passageways and steep steps.

At the end of the trail there were a few petroglyphs. Just after the petroglyphs the trail took a sharp turn up with a handhold that required a little effort to get up. Once over this section the trail to the top was easy.

The return trail was relatively flat and offered some great views of the canyon below. There were a few flowers out.

At the end of the trail there were some nice views of Spruce Tree House. Unfortunately it was closed because of falling rock.

We then took the rim drive and stopped at various locations to view ruins. It would have been nice to be able to hike to them but as I mentioned they were closed.

Square Tower House


Pit House


Cliff Palace

After driving for a while we stopped and hiked the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail which offered some nice views but nothing up close.

We were on our way out of the park. This is a shot of a burn area. Not sure when the fire occurred.

We stopped and hiked a short distance on the Farming terrace Trail. We could see remains of farming terraces.

Just a short distance down the road was Cedar Tree Tower.

Our last stop of the day was the Far View Sites.

My wife is a  white knuckle driver in the mountains so I couldn’t resist taking here photo. I love mountain driving but she thinks I drive too fast.


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