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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

2014 Fall Backcountry Hikes in Mesa Verde National Park

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Date: July 30, 2014
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608

Mesa Verde National Park is again offering backcountry experiences in 2014. These ranger-guided hikes include a 4-hour hike into Upper Navajo Canyon, and a 4-hour hike on Wetherill Mesa. Basics of each hike are listed below, with detailed information online. Tickets are limited and must be purchased online at www.recreation.govor at 1-877-444-6777.

Wetherill Mesa Experience is a 4-mile, 4-hour easy-to-moderate hike which rewards hikers with expansive canyon views, spectacular views of cliff dwellings, and the natural beauty of Wetherill Mesa in the autumn. This is a good introduction to the story of the Ancestral Pueblo people, the environment in which they lived, and the ecology of the pinyon-juniper woodlands. Bring binoculars for cross-canyon views of multiple cliff dwellings. This hike is available from September 2 to October 3 on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Each hike is limited to 14 participants and costs $18.00 per person. Get details online when you purchase your tickets.

Upper Navajo Canyon is a 4-mile, 4-hour round-trip moderate hike along an unpaved, uneven trail that descends 760 feet. Hikers will enjoy the autumn weather and fall color on this historic trail built in the 1930s by one of the government's Depression era organizations, the Public Works Administration. Bring binoculars for cross-canyon views of multiple alcove sites, including Pinkley House and an un-named alcove site. You will experience two different natural communities as you descend from the drier mesa top pinyon-juniper woodlands to the mountain chaparral in the canyon bottom. This hike is available from September 3 to October 5 on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Each hike is limited to 14 participants, and costs $18.00 per person. Get details online when you purchase your tickets.

Mesa Verde National Park offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects almost 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

For reservations and more information, visit www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777.

 

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Did You Know?

Baron Gustaf Nordenskiold

In 1891, Swedish scientist Gustaf Nordenskiold studied, explored, and photographed many of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings. Considered by many to be the first true archeologist at Mesa Verde, his book, "The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde," was the first extensive record of its cliff dwellings.