The cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the North American Continent. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Pueblo people began living in pueblos they built beneath the overhanging cliffs.
People hunted out the big game and deforested the mesa . In 1276 a 23-year drought began. The Ancestral Puebloans abandoned the site by 1300. Cowboys found the cliff dwellings in the 1880s and subsequent explorers plundered them—until much of the mesa was turned into a national park in 1906.
600 cliff dwellings
The Manitou Cliff Dwellings , located a few miles west of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is a fake Indian village built to resemble the much more famous ruins of Mesa Verde National Park. Their goal was to protect Mesa Verde from vandals and pothunters by turning it into a national park.
Toward the end of the 13th century, some cataclysmic event forced the Anasazi to flee those cliff houses and their homeland and to move south and east toward the Rio Grande and the Little Colorado River. Just what happened has been the greatest puzzle facing archaeologists who study the ancient culture.
The Anasazi built their dwellings under overhanging cliffs to protect them from the elements. Anasazi means “ancient outsiders.” Like many peoples during the agricultural era, the Anasazi employed a wide variety of means to grow high-yield crops in areas of low rainfall.
How much is the entrance fee for Mesa Verde National Park? The entrance fee for the park is $20.00 per car from May 1 – October 31 and $15.00 per car for the rest of the year. Visit National Park Service website for more information.
And YES! It’s worth a trip down (although I would suggest you stay either in the park or in Cortez the night before your day in the park. IMO, Mesa verda is one of the most fascinating and spectacular places in Colorado. Growing up I have been there over 10 times and each time find it exqually interesting.
800 TO 1000 YEARS OLD
With a regular admission plus a charge of $12.00 for adults and $7.50 for kids you can enjoy a full year of admission to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings with our Season Pass. You can buy a Season Pass at our Gift Shop and we’ll mail it to you.
The most important crop for the Anasazi was corn. They crushed corn with a stone called mano. The corn that the Anasazi grew was multicolored and hard. Also, The Anasazi ate roots, berries, nuts, greens, cactus seeds, fruits, and wild honey.
about 2 to 2/12 hours
The Anasazi evolved from nomads who lived in temporary dwellings to become accomplished farmers. In time, they created massive, free-standing stone buildings of up to five stories and cliff dwellings like those on display at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.
Fee : While parking itself is free of charge for patrons, there is a fee required to visit Seven Falls . At the time of this posting, the fee for visiting Seven Falls is $14 for adults and $8 for children. For the most up-to-date prices and hours, contact the Seven Falls Office at 1-855-923-7272.