Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The park entrance is along Highway 160, between the towns of of Cortez and Mancos, Colorado. (10 miles east of Cortez; 9 miles west of Mancos; and about 35 miles west of Durango, Colorado.) Once you enter the park, the first view of a cliff dwelling is 21 miles (approximately 45 minutes) along a steep, narrow, and winding road.
CAMPING, HIKING, WILDLIFE VIEWING
Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.