• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

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  • Fire Restrictions in Effect

    Due to recent hot, dry, and windy conditions, the park is currently at very high fire danger. The following fire restrictions are in effect: No open fires are permitted anywhere within the park. Smoking is only permitted inside an enclosed vehicle. More »

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Images showing a variety of geologic features.
Top left: Cliff House Sandstone, Top center: Point Lookout Formation, Top right: Mancos Shale, Bottom left: Alcove (Cliff Palace), Bottom center: Seep spring, Bottom right: Concretions.

The geological history of Mesa Verde National Park is as diverse as the cultural history of the region. The Ancestral Pueblo people recognized this diversity and used the geology of the area, such as seep springs and alcoves, to create a sustainable and advanced lifestyle. These people thrived in the Southwest, supporting and nourishing their families with the remarkable natural resources on the mesa and from nearby areas.

Did You Know?

Mesa top pueblo at Far View Sites Complex

Approximately 600 of the over 4700 archeological sites found in Mesa Verde National Park are cliff dwellings. Other sites include mesa top pueblos, farming terraces, towers, reservoirs, and check dams.