Beginning in 1907, archaeologist Jesse Fewkes started the evening campfire talks about the history of the National Park Service in Mesa Verde. Over 100 years later, the park still continues the tradition. Guests can attend a free 45- to 60-minute presentation by rangers at the Morefield Amphitheater. Visitors can also join in a twilight tour or photography tour of Cliff Palace.
During 2015 the park has begun to offer special backcountry hikes along with the traditional hikes. Through the backcountry hikes, guests have the opportunity to learn more about the park. These special hikes include the Square Tower House, Oak Tree House, and Wetherill Mesa. There are over 20 miles of other hikes in the park and each provides a stunning view of the mesa and wildlife surrounding the park.
Mesa Verde offers great winter activities for snowbirds too. Those wishing to experience the park in much much cooler weather can participate in Nordic/cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking. These winter activities invite guests to experience a more peaceful side of the park. Winter activities also give guests a more visible view to the wildlife in the park as the trees are bare.
Four Corners Lecture Series
Local organizations around the park offer a Four Corners Lecture Series each year. There is a different theme for each year’s series. Each organization sponsors a speaker who is an expert in the subject relating to the annual theme. The lectures are hosted in several different locations throughout the Four Corners area.
Mesa Verde is home to countless numbers of habitats and bird species. Each trail has a special habitat that houses its own species. On the Petroglyph Point or Spruce Canyon trail hikers can see flycatchers, jays, hawks, warblers, chickadees, and others. On other trails you can ses red-winged, great blue herons, bluebirds, canyon wrens, woodpeckers, turkey vultures, goldfinches, and even golden-crowned kinglets.
Though the park doesn’t offer stargazing as a guided activity, there is abundant amount of opportunities for guests to discover the views above. As there are no large cities in the region, there is no artificial light to take away from the luminous heavens above. Mesa Verde National Park lodging has several options for guests to view the stars from their own rooms.
The park also has several guided and self-guided tours. Because of the wonderful and countless archeological sites, the park houses there is so much more to learn than just seeing the sites. Guided tours give visitors a chance to learn about the history of the natives that built and lived in the cliff dwellings in the area.