I left Silverton in the morning for Durango and breakfast at the best place in town! Then off to Mesa Verde. So after washing the "Runner" stopped downtown Durango for breakfest at the Durango Diner. Most often or not
my breakfast is always the
"Breakfast Burrito" -
Mesa Verde National Park located near Cortez, CO and is off highway 160. Roughy 40 miles from Durango, CO and avout 10 miles from Cortez, CO. This was the home of what we know as the Paleo-Indians., they were known as the Anasazi from the Navaho meaning ancient. These people established their life here around 7500BC; however what we know as the "Cliff Dwellers" did not appear until the late 12th Century. By 1300 the Cliff dwellings could have been marketed as "available". They had been abanded. Speculation ranges from lack of water, to the scarcity of game or perhaps being driven out by hostle indians.
The Cliff Dwellings range in size from single rooms to what is above - The Cliff Palace - over 150 rooms and about one hundred people.. In my opinion this is the one to visit. Tour tickets are required and can be purchased at the visitor center at the Park's enterence. Tours are about an hour in length. The climbing down can be a bit of a challenge should you have any knee issues or other health issues.
You can do the entire site in one full day. Be sure to visit the Museum.
I have visited Mesa Verde a few times over the years and have stayed in Cortez simply because it is the closest to the Park. On this trip I stayed at the Baymont Inn and Suites. This is a wonderful place to staty. Offering large and comfortable rooms and everything you would like to find after a long day climbing and exploring, enjoy the pool and the hot tub to ease the stress of the day!
While staying at the Baymont Inn and Suites I would recommend for a great dinner, the Distination Grill. Basicly across the parking lot of the hotel.
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