Mesa Verde National Park: The Fifth Wonder of Colorado

Mile Hi Presents Mesa Verde as Top Outdoor Destination in Colorado!

Mile Hi Rafting loves adventure and the outdoors. We based our business on our love of the Colorado Rockies. Through white water rafting, ATV , UTV tours, and camping excursions, we hope to introduce others to the great outdoors here in Colorado. In an effort to celebrate Colorado and all it has to offer, we have been discovering the best outdoor destinations in Colorado in a series of posts. Today’s destination was once the largest archaeological preserve in the United States, Mesa Verde National Park!

Cliff Palace

Photo by: National Park Service (NPS)

History of Mesa Verde National Park

Have you ever wanted to see what native American’s homes looked like? Colorado boasts the most notable and best preserved cliff dwellings in the United States! With over 5,000 archeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings, visitors get a glimpse into the past at Mesa Verde National Park.  Mesa Verde is Spanish for green table, and was home to the Pueblo Indians for over 700 years.  You can walk through 150 rooms of Cliff Palace, or climb into one of 21 kivas, an underground chamber, while learning of the rich history of Mesa Verde.  The Puebloans first lived on the mesa top for hundreds of years.  Sometime in the late 1190’s, they began living in pueblos they built under the over hanging cliffs.  These homes they built for themselves ranged in size from a one room storage facility to villages of more than 150 rooms!  By the late 1270’s the Puebloans began migrating south into New Mexico and Arizona.  By 1300, the Pueblo Indians had completely moved out of Mesa Verde.

Coyote at MesaVerde

Photo by: National Park Service (NPS)

Nature at Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde includes 8,500 acres of federally designated wilderness and is a Class 1 air shed, meaning it holds the highest standards set by Congress under the Clean Air Pact.  Mesa Verde as a whole occupies over 52,000 acres of the Colorado Plateau.  Elevations range from 6,000 feet in the canyons to 8,572 feet at Park point. Wildlife abounds in this national park. Because of the protected status of the grounds, many animal and plant species that have disappeared or rarely seen still exist in this park.

Plan Your Visit

When you visit Mesa Verde, plan on hiking and wildlife viewing. Camping is also available. Many hiking trails and maps are offered through the visitor’s center. Rangers are on hand to answer questions or help guide you through your visit.

For More History, Come for an ATV Tour of Clear Creek County!

To add to your historical knowledge of Colorado, come for an ATV tour through Clear Creek County. See the old mines and trails once used by early pioneers and gold miners, while exploring on an ATV or UTV.  Mile Hi Rafting offers professionally guided white water rafting and ATV tours. We provide all the gear- wet suits, splash jackets, PFD, helmets and ATV’s. We have trips for any ability and adventure level!  Our pricing and location make it ideal for day trips and vacations.  Kids are always welcome on any of our trips! We pride ourselves in being flexible and will help you arrange any combination of options to create your own experience. Call us today to create your own historical tour through Clear Creek County!

Mesa verde National Park

Photo by: National Park Service (NPS)