About Mesa Verde National Park

About Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park is an 81-square-mile area in extreme southwestern Colorado that features ancient dwellings of the Pueblo tribe, which occupied the region as recently as 700 years ago. The park is open year-round and is home to more than 4,000 archeological sites.

Significance

The people who inhabited these cliff dwellings began living at Mesa Verde around 600 A.D. and wound up constructing the most comprehensive network of prehistoric cliff homes in the entire United States before finally abandoning the region in 1300 A.D.

History

Theodore Roosevelt made Mesa Verde a national park on June 29, 1906; it was the first park dedicated to an archeological site in the nation.

Features

Cliff dwellings with names such as Balcony House and Long House are some of the featured attractions at Mesa Verde National Park.

Bird Life

The Audubon Society has decided that Mesa Verde is a Colorado Important Bird Area, with such species as wrens, eagles and owls, making it a bird watcher's paradise.

Fun Fact

There are an abundance of bat species in the park, such as the hoary bat, the pallid bat, the spotted bat and the California bat.

Hiking

While hiking is allowed only on designated trails, there are several of them, the longest being the 7.8-mile Prater Ridge Trail. All the trails except the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail are rated "strenuous."

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