Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wetherill Mesa in Mesa Verde

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.


  1. The Ute Moutain Utes do a tour that starts at their visitor center between Cortez and Shiprock. I have enjoyed that the couple times I have gone but it is more rustic. If you have seen the national park side of Mesa Verde, try the Utes' tour.

  2. Such nice photos. This site is on my list too. Can't wait to see it one day.

  3. What a delightful view down the canyon from the ruins...

  4. Was always my favorite site to lead tours. Was there a Ranger in site?

  5. Was always my favorite site to lead tours. Was there a Ranger in site?

  6. What a neat place; had not heard of it before. Looks like a great place to explore after the crowds are gone.

  7. Terrific pictures! I've never seen pictures of this place without zillions of people all around, you certainly hit the right day to visit!

  8. Never been to Long House. Lucky you were there at the right time. Or was it planned?


I love comments!