This national park came highly recommended by a friend; she especially said that Trey would like it. She was dead on! The climbing and crawling that this historic site’s tours entail is a little boy’s adventure dreamland. I was a bit worried that Trey wouldn’t sit through the history lectures the guides gave, but he stayed surprisingly interested for a 4-year-old.
Mesa Verde National Park preserves and protects 600 cliff dwellings in southwest Colorado that were inhabited nearly 1400 years ago by the ancient Puebloans. For unknown reasons, they abandoned the area in the 1300s and it wasn’t until the late 1800s that the first local cowboys started to report finding the ruins of the civilization. In 1906, President Roosevelt created the national park and it was the first of its kind since it was established to protect the works of man.
The park offers several guided tours of different cliff dwellings; we took the Cliff Palace and Balcony House tours. Cliff Palace was the more impressive site but Balcony House was where the “strenuous” climbing and crawling (aka the fun stuff). As our tour guide explained the difficulties of the tour he looked at Trey (by far the youngest in the group) and scowled. “I don’t stop the tour for anyone. If you can’t make it you go back on your own,” he said to the group as he glared at Trey. We were very proud that Trey outperformed most of the adults as he scampered up the 112 feet of ladders on the cliff face. Take that tour guide guy!