Visited: June 2016
Duration: 1 day
Accommodations: Kokepelli Cave Bed and Breakfast, Farmington, New Mexico.
Mesa Verde National Park is what inspired our very first National Park trip, and the rest is history. Hunter was studying cliff dwellings in Social Studies in the 5th grade. His teacher asked if anyone in the class had ever visited a cliff dwelling and nobody had. I asked Hunter if he would be interested in going, it isn’t that far away and it would be fun to see something you have learned about already. He was really excited for this National Park, it was full of history and we love to learn!
We stopped off at the Visitor Center and got all of the info we needed. We tried to do a tour of Cliff Palace but they were full for the day and only had openings for the next day. That’s okay we decided to head out to the Step House and do a self guided tour of one of the many cliff dwellings located in the park.
We drove the whole length of the park road to get to the Wetherill Mesa Information station, this takes awhile to get from one end of the park to the other so just plan your time. We had a picnic lunch before heading out on the trail for our cliff dwelling tour. It was a relatively short hike to reach the Step House. There you can buy a tour brochure and do a self guided tour, but we were lucky enough to be one of the only groups there so the park ranger gave us the full tour and took our pictures everywhere we wanted as well. What a deal!!! She was full of information and answered all of our questions. I’d say we lucked out on this stop.
Step house photos
We finished up in this area and then headed back driving down the Chaplin Mesa road. We pulled over at all of the pull offs but our favorite view was the view of Cliff Palace from across the valley, by Sun Temple.
These dwellings are absolutely amazing. Back to the visitor center to earn our Junior Ranger badges and we can head back to the Cave hotel. I think we would have enjoyed this a heck of a lot more if the kids weren’t so interested in getting back to Kokopelli’s and hanging out in the cave more. It was pretty amazing, you can check out our stay in the cave here.
We loved this National Park and would recommend it, if you are in the area. Have you been here?? Fun place to learn history and get some great photos. This part of Colorado is gorgeous, lots of scenery and great places to visit. Next up, Great Sand Dunes National Park. Check back soon.