Mesa Verde National Park – 100th Anniversary 2016

Mesa Verde Country is one of the gems of the National Parks system, which turns 100 in 2016.

Mesa Verde Country is one of the gems of the National Parks system, which turns 100 in 2016.

Mesa Verde Country invites travelers to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th year by planning a trip to Mesa Verde National Park in 2016. The National Park Service officially joins the “century club” on Aug. 25.

“The centennial kicks off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs,” according to the National Park Service.

Established by congress in 1906, Mesa Verde National Park is the first national park set aside to preserve the works of humankind. It is also a World Heritage Site, a designation granted by UNESCO to preserve and protect the cultural and national heritage of certain international sites. Mesa Verde has been selected the #1 historic monument in the world by Condé Nast Traveler readers, and was named one of the “50 places of a Lifetime – The World’s Greatest Destinations” by National Geographic Traveler.

Ancient petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park.

Ancient petroglyphs in Mesa Verde National Park.

Mesa Verde offers an excellent opportunity to see and experience the life of the Ancestral Puebloans and the spectacular cliff dwellings and mesa-top villages they built between A.D. 450 and 1300. Visitor scan walk, drive or take a bus tour through the park.

There are opportunities to hike and climb ladders in and out of cliff dwellings, or walk through less rigorous self-guided routes. Because there is so much to see and do at the vast park, it’s recommended that visitors plan to spend two full days exploring. There are thousands of archaeological sites across the park with interpretive loops and scenic pullouts.

Visitors who plan ahead can even join a Ranger-led backcountry hike to explore archeological sites not normally open to the public.

For complete details download the National Park Service Visitor Guide. 

To learn more about planning a trip to Mesa Verde Country and the communities of Cortez, Dolores and Mancos, call 800-530-2998 or visit 

Mesa Verde Country is located in southwest Colorado near the entrance to the magnificent Mesa Verde National Park. The nearby towns of Cortez, Dolores, and Mancos provide accommodations, dining, outdoor fun and visitor services. Named the “Number One Historic Monument in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler and one of the “50 Places of a Lifetime-The World’s Greatest Destinations” by National Geographic, Mesa Verde National Park is one of the nation’s first World Heritage sites and the largest archaeological preserve in the country.

Two national byways pass through Mesa Verde Country. In addition to the National Park, Mesa Verde Country is loaded with other archaeological attractions: Hovenweep National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, the Anasazi Heritage Center and the Cortez Cultural Center. Mountain biking enthusiasts have recognized Mesa Verde Country as one of the next great mountain biking destinations.