After we explored Brown Mountain and poked around Durango, we headed for Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde National Park has more than 5,000 archaeological sites including some very impressive cliff dwellings. If you decide to visit Mesa Verde, definitely arrive early to avoid lines to sign up for the ranger lead tours of some of the bigger cliff dwellings. Since we didn’t get there early and had to be really aware of how long we left Sprocket in the car, we chose to just do a self-guided tour of Spruce House.
The drive from the visitors center to Chapin Mesa and Spruce House took about an hour. It’s a pretty drive through juniper and pinyon pines with sandstone cliffs here and there (a lot like Log Hill Mesa where we live actually…).
I didn’t take a lot of pictures of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum unfortunately. The building itself interested me a lot more than the sort of outdated displays. Partially funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., it’s just a beautiful example of classic National Park architecture!
After checking out the museum, we headed down to Spruce House.