Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado — September 12, 2009
We arrived at Mesa Verde early enough to relax for a while before heading further into the park.
(click on any of the following photos to view a larger image.)
View of the sky over Mesa Verde National Park
It’s a mother-in-law warning device! (see previous post on it.) from display at Far View Visitor Center
Spruce Tree House was constructed between AD 1211 and 1278 by the ancestors of the Puebloan peoples of the Southwest. The dwelling contains about 130 rooms and 8 kivas (kee-vahs), or ceremonial chambers, built into a natural cave measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth. It is thought to have been home for about 80 people.
Knife’s Edge, location of the old pre-1950s harrowing route into the park.
Evidence of past wild fires can be seen throughout the park, some quite recent.
Spruce Tree House is the third largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde. Unlike other cliff dwellings in the parks, Spruce Tree House can be accessed without a ranger guided tour, though rangers will be on duty at the ruin when the trail is open.
Spruce Tree House was opened for visitation following excavation by Dr. Jesse Walter Fewkes of the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Fewkes removed the debris of fallen walls and roofs and stabilized the remaining walls.
It was discovered in 1888 by two local ranchers searching for stray cattle.
Commentary and images from the road
image and information from September 12, 2009
Spruce Tree House information is from National Park Service web page — Spruce Tree House