After leaving Durango, we moved to a BLM campsite at McPhee Reservoir outside of Dolores, Colorado. Nearby is Mesa Verde, along with Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The entire area has the largest number of Anasazi or Ancient Puebloan ruins found in the U.S. The next day we headed first to Mesa Verde National Park, since it is the most famous and well known.
|Looking up into one of the inside rooms, you can see a native painting up on the wall. Because these ruins are fragile, they do not allow people to climb about.|
|Spruce Tree House is one of the ruins you are allowed to tour without a guide.|
|In this ruin they even have a kiva that you are allowed to descend into. Those sticks poking up out of the hole is actually the ladder down into the kiva.|
|Notice the tall, square tower? The name of this cliff dwelling is Square Tower House.|
|Not everyone during this time lived under the cliffs. Some still lived on top of the mesa. Here are the ruins from the area they call Far View.|
|Although it is dry today, this was once a reservoir, built over 800 years ago.|