Mesa Verde National Park was the first National Park created to protect historic culture and ancient ruins. Ancient Puebloans, Anasazi, once lived in the area and “mysteriously” vanished leaving behind all their belongings. Mesa Verde is located just outside of Durango, Colorado making it within driving distance if you would like to stay in the city, otherwise Mesa Verde offers camping at Morefield Campground or you can stay at the Far View Lodge. While driving through the park to the dwellings, don’t miss the many lookouts along the way.
About 1,400 years ago the Anasazi inhabited the region, faming and hunting along the mesa. Throughout time they moved their housing from on top of the mesa to different alcoves along the rim. Today you can visit the Cliff Dwellings, but only on a guided tour. You must purchase your tickets at the Visitor Center ahead of time, and trust me it’s the best $4 you can spend. Plan ahead as the dwellings are a jaunt from the Visitors Center.