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Feb 28

Mesa Top Loop Road: Mesa Verde National Park

Square Tower
Mesa Top Loop Road is a scenic trip through some of the best parts of Mesa Verde National Park.  A six-mile drive around rim of Chapin Mesa.  That offers incredible views of Sun Temple, Square Tower, Cliff Palace as well as Sunset House. This was one of our things to do here.  The Mesa Top Loop Road is a perfect way to see the park for those that do not have the ability or time to take some of the guided tours of the cliff dwellings
Pithouse
This is a worthwhile drive.  The view of the Square Tower House was one of the main reasons that I went to Mesa Verde.  It also had a brilliant view of Cliff Palace. An area of the park that a visitor can get up close to as long as they are on a tour.  Unfortunately, for many visitors a tour of cliff dwelling is just not feasible.  So getting a bird’s eye view along the Mesa Top Loop Road is the next best thing. 
Joyride
Another thing that I liked about the Mesa Top Loop Road is that it was very informative. The road provided a quick overview of the entire park complex. This is definitely the quick easy way to see the park.  The drive not only gives a physical overview of the area, but also there were several stops along the way that explained the how, why, and what of the inhabitants themselves.  For those that go to National Parks for an educational experience the Mesa Top Loop Road is a must see.  Those that go just for the visual experience this road has you covered as well. 
Cliff Palace
Mesa Top Loop Road ended up being a fun outing for my family.  My girls love to be outside so it was a lot of short drives and getting out of the car.  All the stops were very short walks to either interpretive exhibits or overlooks.  Some were better than others.  However, I recommend going to all the stops because it paints a pretty picture of the development of the cliff dwelling society that live there.  This scenic drive is a must see and one of our favorite parts of the park.

To see our reviews of other Colorado attractions, click here  

Mesa Verde National Park
Located along Highway 160 between the towns of Mancos and Cortez in SW Colorado
Hours of Operation: Open daily, Year-round but what is available to see varies with the seasons
Cost as of this Posting $15.00 per private vehicle during the summer $10.00 rest of the year
For more information visit their website at
www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm     

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