Mesa Verde National Park was founded in 1906 to preserve and educate the public on the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people who settled there for over 700 years. The park currently protects almost 5,000 known archeological locations. These sites are some of the most popular and best-kept sites within the United States. Mesa Verde is open all year, with just a few sections of the park closed seasonally. In order to maximize your vacation, be sure to research what parts of the park are open during your intended visit.
The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum is open all year, but its daily opening times range from 8:00am to 6:30pm throughout its opening seasons. There are ranger-guided tours of Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House, which require tickets inexpensively available for purchase at the ranger stations. The ancestral Pueblo communities occupied these areas from A.D. 550 to 1300 and evidence of their many years of survival, such as their cliff homes and wells, are evident throughout the national park. There are a number of cliff dwellings, five in total, that can be toured during your visit to Mesa Verde National Park in addition to other types of mesa dwellings such as the Badger House Community and the Cedar Tree Tower.
Mesa Verde National Park has been protecting the Pueblo culture for over 100 years and has served to educate Americans and foreign tourists about the peoples who inhabited that land long before any of us were born. With countless historical and cultural programs and tours to attend, a vacation to this national park will never be in vain!