BLInspirations

Photos & More

Mesa Verde National Park

| 0 comments

By Laurie

Note: This post is one of a series about my 2015 Western Parks vacation with my daughter and grandson.  For our itinerary with links to other posts and an overview of this trip, please see 2015 Western Parks Vacation.

On Saturday, after leaving Monument Valley, we continued to Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado. We were there Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Mesa Verde (Spanish for green table) was established in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived there for over 700 years, from around 550 to 1300 AD. Sometime during the late 1190s, after primarily living on the mesa top for 600 years, many Ancestral Puebloans began living in pueblos they built in recesses beneath the overhanging cliffs, about 2000 ft. above the valley floor. The structures ranged in size from one-room storage units to villages of more than 150 rooms. At this time they subsisted on farming instead of hunting/gathering. While continuing to farm the mesa tops, they resided in the recesses – repairing, remodeling, and constructing new rooms for nearly a century.

Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These structures are made of sandstone and mud mortar, with wooden logs as beams. The mortar is a mixture of dirt, water and ash, and small pieces of stone called “chinking” are embedded in the mortar. The chinking fills the larger gaps between stones and adds structural stability to the walls. There is a photograph of this chinking in the Additional Images gallery below.

Most of the cliff dwellings can be seen up close only by a ranger-guided tour although some are visible from overlooks and self-guided tours are available for Spruce Tree House. The largest of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings is Cliff Palace, which had about 150 rooms and more than 20 circular rooms and probably housed about 125 people. The other major cliff dwellings include Long House, Balcony House, Spruce Tree House, and Step House. The tour of Balcony House is strenuous because of the walk to the site and the long ladders that must be climbed to access the site.

The additional Images gallery below shows some of the cliff dwellings and some details of the construction. Point Lookout (another photo in the Additional Images section) is a mesa high above the entrance to the park. It was purportedly used by the U.S. Cavalry as a signaling point and was undoubtedly used for that purpose by most of the early inhabitants of the area.

Additional Information

National Park Service: Mesa Verde

Wikipedia: Mesa Verde

Khan Academy: Mesa Verde

Additional Images

Technical Information

Cliff Palace Panorama

  • Date: 6/27/2015
  • Time: 4:47 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 18 mm, f/13
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/125 sec
  • Cropped image is 5140 x 3429 px

Cliff Palace 1

  • Date: 6/27/2015
  • Time: 6:39 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 18 mm, f/6.3
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/40 sec
  • Cropped image is 4197 x 2799 px

Cliff Palace 2

  • Date: 6/27/2015
  • Time: 6:46 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 18 mm, f/4
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/50 sec
  • Uncropped image is 4752 x 3168 px

Ladder to Balcony House

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 9:24 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 18 mm, f/8
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/60 sec
  • Uncropped image is 3168 x 4752 px

Spruce Tree House

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 11:37 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 24 mm, f/5
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/400 sec
  • Uncropped image is 4752 x 3168 px

Long House 1

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 4:42 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 28 mm, f/7.1
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/50 sec
  • Cropped image is 3696 x 2468 px

Long House 2

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 4:43 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 21 mm, f/7.1
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/50 sec
  • Cropped image is 4433 x 2955 px

Spruce Tree House

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 11:37 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 24 mm, f/5
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/400 sec
  • Uncropped image is 4752 x 3168 px

Stone and mud mortar construction

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 5:07 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 24 mm, f/4
    • ISO: 200
    • Shutter: 1/25 sec
  • Uncropped image is 3168 x 4752 px

Chinking in mud mortar

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 5:07 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 44 mm, f/5
    • ISO: 400
    • Shutter: 1/60 sec
  • Uncropped image is 3168 x 4752 px

Long House 3

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 5:09 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 18 mm, f/5.6
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/80 sec
  • Uncropped image is 4708 x 3138 px

Long House 4

  • Date: 6/28/2015
  • Time: 5:21 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 29 mm, f/7.1
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/80 sec
  • Uncropped image is 4752 x 3168 px

Point Lookout

  • Date: 6/27/2015
  • Time: 2:36 PM
  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
  • Settings:
    • Lens: 33 mm, f/10
    • ISO: 100
    • Shutter: 1/125 sec
  • Cropped image is 4198 x 2799 px

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


error: Content is Copyright by BLInspirations