On our 11-day epic Southwestern vacation, we left a little wiggle room at the end of the trip to be spontaneous. We wound up first in Durango, Colorado, an adorable mountain town 20 minutes from the New Mexico border. Mesa Verde (Spanish for “Green Table”) National Park was a daytrip destination about a half hour outside of Durango.
The National Park’s website describes Mesa Verde like this: “For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and Tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past. This World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth.” From: https://www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/self_guided_activities.htm.
After paying the park fee of $20 per private vehicle, we stopped into the Information Center and were provided with information about tours, either ranger-led or self-guided. We opted for a 7-mile trek along the Prater Ridge Trail, somewhere between 7,000’ and 7,500’ of elevation.
Out trek took place on the first Sunday in November. Temps were cool (light winter jacket weather) in the shadows and warmer (t-shirt weather) in the sunshine. As seasoned hikers might advise, we had dressed in layers and were able to adjust to changing temps accordingly. There was snowpack along the shadowy paths of the trails and mud along much of the hike, which slowed us down significantly. Still a splendid trip; I invite you to a look…all but the last of these photos were taken in Mesa Verde. The final pic in this series is Durango, picturesque against a mountain backdrop.
2 responses to “A Spontaneous Visit to Mesa Verde”
You two are so lucky! Have a blast!
Thanks, Katy. It was exhilarating! Made me realize I need to GTFO of New York ASAP, haha.