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Wetherill Mesa, Mesa Verde National Park
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ADDRESS
Wetherill Mesa Road
Mesa Verde National Park
Colorado 81330
CONTACT DETAILS
ACTIVITIES
Ancient Ruins
Interpretive Programs
 
 
 
 
 

Long House, Mesa Verde

 

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

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The trek to Wetherill Mesa rewards intrepid families with more than just a peek at another cliff dwelling. It offers archaeological viewing in near solitude. Take the self-guided Step House Trail and follow the Ancestral Puebloans or Anasazi Indians as they make their way from pithouse to pueblo. Visit the Badger House Communities and experience 600 years of pueblo development. Hike Nordenskiold #16 Trail and enjoy exceptional views. Partake in the ranger-led tour of the Long House cliff dwelling and learn more about life below the mesa top. And as you make your way along Wetherill Mesa Road view the remains of electrical storms.
Anasazi and Forest Management
Effect of Lightning on the Land

Effect of Lightning on the Land

Alfredo De Simone

 
When the Anasazi lived in Mesa Verde the forest wasn't as thick as it is today. The Anasazi collected dry wood for their fire pits, chopped trees for roof beams and cleared the land for farming. The Anasazi practiced an early form of forest management. In fact, their involvement with the environment made it possible for this ancient culture to flourish in Mesa Verde for so long. Keeping the forest neat and tidy reduces the risk of forest fire. There is much less wood and underbrush to ignite. The rangers at Mesa Verde National Park are learning lessons from the Anasazi.
 
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Well worth the trek

Submitted on 30 October 2007 by snowedunder from Monza, Italy
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Apart from the museum, Wetherill Mesa is Mesa Verde in miniature. Pithouses, cliff dwellings and hiking trails. It is significantly less crowded than Chapin Mesa. Our ranger-guided tour of Long House had only 7 people including our party of 4. (There were 30 on our Cliff Palace tour.) The lightening scorched landscape provides fodder for conversations of a different kind. And you don't need to drive from site to site: park your car and explore.
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