5 Unusual Things to Do in Mesa Verde National Park
(note: this post was updated 2019)
Mesa Verde National Park captures the imagination of architects, home owners and anyone living in a dwelling. I love it because it’s adventurous, challenging, and interesting. When visiting this treasure, you can certainly drive to the view, get out of your car, take a picture and leave. Or, you can do any of these 5 unusual things.
1. Sign up for a tour. The National Park Rangers lead several tours throughout the park, and they are worth the time and money you’ll spend. High quality and accurate, you’ll get the real story behind the dwellings and the culture of the original residents. Most of the tours sell out quickly. Even if you book online, be sure to plan a 45-minute drive to the tour site from the visitor’s center. My favorite tour at Mesa Verde National Park is the Balcony House tour, but you can’t go wrong with any of the many choices.
2. Marvel how you would build a balcony off of your house if you only had rocks and adobe. Then, how would you secure it so your kids didn’t fall off of it if you didn’t have metal?
3. Race your spouse or your kids up a wooden ladder. Okay, it’s really not safe to do any racing up the ladder, but it will be fun to at least attempt it.
4. If you win the race, then challenge your kids or spouse to the challenge of clinging to the side of the cliff and pulling yourself up your own ladder followed by guiding yourself via chains to get off the balcony. I am not afraid of heights, but my husband is. He made it–barely–and was thrilled to say he climbed his way to the top of civilization again. Try it. You’ll honestly enjoy it and feel quite accomplished.
5. Look through your living room window and think about how you’d build a fire to keep yourself warm or how you’d carry water on your head to cook while the snow pelts you from the north.
Regardless of which of these 5 unusual things you do, or if you do all of them, be sure to get out of your car, drink lots of water, and spend at least 3 hours in this national treasure, Mesa Verde National Park. You’ll love it.
Where to stay for Mesa Verde National Park?
Looking for an interesting and unusual place to say near Mesa Verde National Park? Stay in a yurt, outside of Mancos. Read about it.