Mesa Verde was probably the coolest park we accidentally stumbled upon. We’d never heard of it until we were all around a map in Moab, planning our route back to Pennsylvania.
Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.
We took a guided Ranger walk through one of the dwellings. As you can see from the map, the rooms of this cliff dwelling went as far as nine rooms deep! So incredible! Another cool thing to note, our Ranger spotted Phoenix’s shirt said Allegheny Outfitters. She said, “Hey, you’re not from Warren, Pennsylvania are you?” When we said yes, she was blown away. She’d lived in Warren for years before becoming a Ranger. Small world!