Cliff Palace



This is Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, arguably the most famous ancient ruin on the North American continent. It was discovered in 1888 by two cowboys searching for stray cattle during a snow storm. It was thought to be the city of a lost civilization.

The cliff dwellings were created by the Pueblo Indians in the 1100s and according to, Cliff Palace is only one of 600 cliff dwellings found in Mesa Verde National Park. It is thought that Cliff Palace housed about 100 people in its 150 rooms. It is the largest cliff dwelling in the park.

Mesa Verde National Park was the first park to be created with the mission to “preserve the works of man.” The park strives to be a place that allows visitors to explore its manmade wonders safely, while protecting its history for future generations. As a result, some of the ruins aren’t accessible to visitors and other sites can only be explored with a ranger on a guided tour. The tour times seem to change and when we were there you could only get tickets at the visitor center the day before the tour. The visitor center is about an hour drive from the actual ruins so plan well.

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