3. Mesa Verde: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour
Don’t miss a thing as your favorite audio tour narrator guides you across Mesa Verde to not-to-be-missed points of interest, with fascinating stories, tips and directions along the way. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. Mesa Verde is truly unique place to experience as it was the first National Park to be created specifically to preserve important archeological and cultural sites, rather than just beautiful scenery and an unusual environment. Major Highlights: Balcony House Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum Cliff Palace Montezuma Valley Overlook Park Point Overlook Pithouses Spruce Tree House Square Tower House Step House Sun Temple Includes: Mesa Verde National Park The biggest draw to the park, and rightly so, is the amazing cliff dwellings impossibly built into cliff alcoves, and many ancient mesa-top buildings and remains. The cliff dwellings are mostly viewed from roadside viewpoints or short, easily accessed trails. Usually the best view is from across a canyon, which allows us to see the entire structure. Binoculars are strongly recommended. It adds another level to the Mesa Verde experience to be able to visit inside, or up-close to the cliff dwellings. It's vital to know that this can only be done on a supervised, ranger-led tour. Even if you miss out on ranger tour tickets, Mesa Verde is extremely worthwhile to visit, and you will still have excellent views of many cliff houses. In fact, even if you have a tour for one cliff house, you will view the others from the overlooks. The only opportunity to walk into a cliff house without requiring a pre-purchased tour ticket is at the Step House location, at the end of the scenic Wetherill Mesa drive. And the museum is excellent and worthy of investing 1 to 2 hours of your visit to view important artifacts preserved from the excavated sites. And even though the cliff dwellings are the iconic sites in Mesa Verde, there are many fantastic examples of mesa-top structures that date back as far as 1,400 years, providing rich insights into the life and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Plus, the location and position of Mesa Verde is spectacular in its own right. You will enjoy panoramic views in every direction.