3 Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park is located in the southwest corner of Colorado near Four Corners, the geographic location where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico meet. It is a beautiful drive less than an hour from Durango. While open year-round, some of the exhibits are seasonal, so you want to check the website to see which exhibits are open during your visit. We visited during the summer and recommend these 3 things to do in Mesa Verde National Park.
Enjoy the Wildlife
It is likely that you will see a variety of wildlife on your visit. Mule deer are abundant and frequently seen. Black bears are a possibility. We didn’t see a black bear in Mesa Verde, but we did see one at another park on the same trip. You will see multiple varieties of birds and reptiles. Mesa Verde is also home to wild horses. While all the animals are beautiful, exercise care around them. Report a sighting of any black bear to the park rangers. Do not approach the wild horses.
Mesa Verde Tours
There are several options for tours at Mesa Verde. There are guided tours and self-guided options. Tickets for the guided Mesa Verde tours can be purchased online in advance. All tours are not available at all times, so be sure to check the schedule. We chose to explore the park with the self-guided step house tour. This one-mile round trip tour is appropriate for most fitness levels.
Consider your health and the location of the cliff dwellings when determining if your family is able to participate. The highest park elevation is around 7,000 feet. There are no age restrictions for children. Any child who is able to safely walk and climb should be able to participate in most of the hikes and sightseeing. Infants must be carried in backpacks.
Once you read through the warnings, please don’t let them discourage you; you will never regret the views from the cliffs!
Chapin Mesa Museum
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Chapin Mesa Museum. Honestly, my plan was to stop in, cool off, and rest a few minutes before moving on. We ended up staying in the museum for several hours. The models, artifacts, and history were fascinating to the adults and children on the trip. Always fans of interactive experiences, we found that the museum had several hands-on exhibits for the girls to try out.
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