We headed to Mesa Verde National Park right after breakfast. The entrance to the park is about 35 miles from Durango, but most of the cliff buildings are another 20 miles into the park.
Mesa Verde combines the natural beauty of high desert mesas with the fascinating remains of ancestral Pueblo villages. Unfortunately we were not allowed to explore the cliff dwellings, but we were able to take a few short hikes to see them from afar.
The cliff dwellings were built around the end of the 13th century and abandoned not long after. They were not rediscovered until the late 19th century. President Roosevelt helped designate the area a national park and preserve the spectacular remnants of one of the finest expressions of human culture in pre-Columbian North America.
After lunch, we bid farewell to the Foxes who are on their way to California. Our next stop is Moab, UT.