Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park is the location of abandoned Native American cliff dwellings.

Although people had lived in the area for thousands of years the cliff buildings were used for less than 100 years. People left the area by 1285 due to a long lasting and severe drought.

In the upper left corner of the picture below you see a dwelling across the canyon from where Barb and I toured “Balcony House” as seen with the naked eye.


Below is with a 300 mm lens (~6X).


Below is a close up of the dwelling in the picture above.


Here are another set of pictures. Notice the small rectangular holes in the upper right quadrant?


Here is a close up:


This was our guide for visiting “Balcony House”. This visit is not for the infirm, those afraid of heights, or claustrophobic. See the cliff in the background? Yeah. We went there.


At first it was pretty reasonable.IMG_4626Adjusted


Then we got to the 32 foot tall ladder.



We made it.


Notice the variety of people in this picture? I don’t think I would have brought my kids on this adventure when they were this age. Also note the girl on the left with the AR-15s on her shirt?


Here are the actual homes (minus the roofs).


The pit in the center is for the fire. The hole on the bottom right connects to the hole on the top right and is a fresh air vent. The rectangular block to the right of the fire pit deflects the incoming fresh air. The supports around the interior are the supports for the small logs which are used to make the roof.


Nice view. But I wouldn’t want my kids playing on the top of the wall you see in the lower left.


They didn’t have a good answer for the purpose of the rooms below. I suspect food storage.




This was the way we left.



As we were leaving there was rain and lightning. We had to climb up this cliff to get out. Notice the water in the steps in the rocks?


We had planned to visit Arches National Park but because of the rain the night before one of the roads was closed. So we went to Mesa Verde to climb a cliff in the rain and lightning.


7 thoughts on “Mesa Verde

  1. Must have been an early case of Global Warming.
    (Come to think of it, it probably was. Wasn’t this the period when things were warm enough that Greenland was actually somewhat green?)

    • IIRC, 1285 CE was near the end of the Medieval Warm Period. The drought was likely caused by global cooling.

      • Ok. So I should have said “climate change” — which has the advantage that you can never be wrong because climate always changes.

        (Definition of science: a subject that is falsifiable. That shows that warmism isn’t a science.)

  2. There are sure a ton of truly spectacular parks in Utah. Bryce stands out as a real gem, but Arches has miles of really cool trails as well. There are some standout hikes in Zion as well (if you don’t like heights, you probably would want to skip the trail on Angel’s Landing….) Canyonlands is just immense, with so many miles of trails and roads, it’s difficult to describe.

    The other interesting thing about Utah is that their state parks are just as cool as the National parks and monuments. And more accessible – my brother and I camped at the state parks for the night on the week-long trip we took, because the National parks were all full (we just day-hiked in them). That turned out great – camping was fun among the hoodoos of Goblin Valley State Park, and we also stayed at Escalante and a couple of others.

  3. Last passed through MV when I was 14. I count it in the list of places that are examples of what determined individuals can accomplish through manual labor…

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