The Wetherill Mesa section of Mesa Verde National Park is usually open only from Memorial Day (late May) to Labor Day (early Sept), except for 2 days in September. We hit one of those days. The largest cliff dwelling there is Long House.
In the summer a tram runs arond the mesa, but on these 2 days in September, you have to hike or bike.
But it’s only 1 mile to Long House. With 150 rooms, 21 kivas, and a large plaza, it was quite a housing development in 1200 AD.
There were no organized tours, but we were allowed to climb through most of the rooms.
This is the view they had down canyon.
We could even climb up the ladders.
If I look like I’m gritting my teeth, it’s because the wood is really hot.
After Long House, we walked the roads and trails to other ruins. They’ve had a lot of fires here over the years.
We saw LOTS of horse poop all over the mesa. They have a lot of wild horses here, but they must have been hiding.
These are the steps down to Step House. Well, not the prehistoric ones.
There was a reconstructed kiva there - kind of welcome after the buried ruins of Yellow Jacket.