It may very well be. We were so excited to see Mesa Verde National Park. I envisioned viewing all these amazing cave dwellings from afar, and marveling at how interesting it would have been to live there, thinking, “wow, how were these built?” Instead, we got up close and personal with these amazing pueblos! I still did wonder, “How did they build that?”, of course! We continued our patronage of KOA’s and chose to sleep in a teepee for this leg of the adventure. It seemed apropos considering we were about to explore ancient dwellings!
Until our arrival, we had no idea that they had ranger guided tours available for just $5 each! They sell out fast so we booked for a little later in the day. These tours are no joke. The hike down is short and steep, but the real thrill comes when you are actually inside the dwellings on the side of the cliff. Not only do you have to worry about tumbling off the side of the cliff the structures are built on, but the residence of these ancient buildings built their rooms in the floor. So every so often, there are 10 feet deep circular rooms that you can also fall into. Adding to the adventure of the whole thing, are these tiny crawl spaces that you can only get through on your hands and knees, and the most challenging aspect was the 30 ft ladder up the side of the cliff that we had to climb to get back out. I was freaking out when a young mom had her toddler on her back climbing this ladder! It was cool, very cool, and well worth the thrill!
We toured both Balcony House and Cliff Palace. Of the two, Balcony house was the more adventurous tour with the more precarious approximate to the side of the cliff, the tunnel, and the 30 foot ladder. So fun! Cliff house was much easier physically, but was a much larger example of a cliff dwelling and a more impressive structure. There is no reason that healthy adults, teens, and kids can’t do both. You get both a touch of adventure and a boatload of history at Mesa Verde. Go check it out! (On a side note, Lana will love it when she realizes I publish three photos of her butt in this blog. #Momlife)