“cool cliff dwelling!”
**TEMPORARILY CLOSED** You can get a nice view of this dwelling from the mesa top, though. Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling (Cliff Palace and Long House are larger), was constructed between A.D. 1211 and 1278 by the ancestors of the Puebloan peoples of the Southwest. The dwelling contains about 130 rooms and 8 kivas (kee-vahs), or ceremonial chambers, built into a natural alcove measuring 216 feet (66 meters) at greatest width and 89 feet (27 meters) at its greatest depth. It is thought to have been home for about 60 to 80 people. The cliff dwelling was first discovered in 1888, when two local ranchers chanced upon it while searching for stray cattle. A large tree, which they identified as a Douglas Spruce (later called Douglas Fir), was found growing from the front of the dwelling to the mesa top. It is said that the men first entered the dwelling by climbing down this tree, which was later cut down by another early explorer.
This was the first stop at mesa verde for us. The rangers were very nice and informative letting us know that this site had a ranger onsite but did not require a tour like some of the others. A steep hike down, though they have paved the path so its still what i would consider an easy hike. several benches along the path for breaks. Bring water!! Even in the early part of the day it was getting warm fast. Well worth it :)
Beautiful landscape. Super clean camping facilities. Great night time ranger program about the stars. Overall- a must see!
Bathrooms by the parking lot-- love it! Ranger to answer questions-- awesome. Kind of a steep hike down, so be prepared! Once again, you don't need a ticket to visit, which makes this a quick and easy stop.
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Spruce Tree House - Mesa Verde NP
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