The first occupants of the Mesa Verde Region, which spans from southeastern Utah to northwestern New Mexico, were nomadic Paleo-Indians who arrived in the area c. 9500 BC. They followed herds of big game and camped near rivers and streams, many of which dried up as the glaciers that once covered parts of the San Juan Mountains receded.
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Cliff Palace
Mesa Verde Cliff Palace, the largest and most famous cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park, has over 150 individual rooms and more than 20 kivas (rooms for religious rituals). Crafted of sandstone, wooden beams and mortar, Mesa Verde Cliff Palace has been remarkably well preserved from the elements for the past 700 years.
House Of Many Windows
Across Cliff Canyon, perched on a ten foot wide ledge, is the House of Many Windows. Like all cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, the openings you see are not really windows, but doors that could have been covered with stone slabs or animal hides. From here, you can see four doors remaining in the original eleven rooms. There is also evidence of a kiva on the north end of the ledge among the trees. Above this is a toehold trail that leads to the upper alcove and one or possibly two rooms. The toeholds trail then leads to the mesa top from this upper alcove.
Hemenway House
Perched on a remote cliff in Soda Canyon, Hemenway House looks to fall off the small ledge on which it rests. Built in the 1200s, the cliff dwelling has 26 rooms and one kiva and was part of the larger Balcony House community. Hemenway House was named for Mary Tileston Hemenway, who funded the first scientific archeological expedition in the southwest.
Far View House
Far View was one of the most densely populated parts of the mesa from A.D. 900 to about A.D. 1300. Nearly 50 villages have been identified within a half square mile area, and were home to hundreds of people. Today, several excavated and stabilized sites are linked by a trail system within a short walking distance. These surface sites include Far View House, Pipe Shrine House, Coyote Village, Far View Reservoir, Megalithic House, and Far View Tower.
Coyote Village

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