MESA VERDE CAC Just Camping

June 13-17, 2022

Arrive June 13, 2022,  Depart June 17, 2022

 

Host

Kelly Richie, Rob & Brenda Hughey

 

 

CAMP ACTIVITIES

* Morning coffee bar at Kelly’s trailer 7:30-8:30 site number TBD

* Campfire Happy Hour – we are looking for two host per night for June 14 & 15

Please call Kelly at 480-433-0328 or email Krichie@airstreamdreamer.com if you would like to host.

Monday June 13th

Kelly Richie

Rob & Brenda Hughey

Tuesday June 14                   Host Needed

Wednesday June 15              Host Needed

 

The Town of Dolores is a must-see!

Dolores is a wonderful small town rich in history located in a canyon with the beautiful Dolores River cutting along one side and rock cliffs on the other. Summer temperatures range between 85 and 90 degrees with cool, clear nights. There are nearby mountains and one of the largest reservoir in the state, McPhee Reservoir. The San Juan National Forest is only one mile away from town, which makes all of the above an outdoor enthusiast's wonderland.

Along with the outdoors, Dolores offers a unique mixture of shops, restaurants, taverns and even a brew pub. There are four town parks and a wonderful bike trail that runs along the beautiful Dolores River.

 

Parks & Activities

Canyons Of The Ancients Visitor Center & Museum

The Canyon of the Ancients Visitor Center is the headquarters for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and the premier Archaeological Museum in southwest Colorado. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the Visitor Center before heading to the Monument to get information, maps and other publications. The Museum boasts interpretive exhibits, films, a research library, educational resources, and special programs and events interpret the history and culture of the Ancestral Puebloan and other Native American peoples, as well as the historic Anglo settlers. On its way to the Monument, the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway conveniently passes right by the Visitor Center and Museum. The Old Spanish National Historic Trail, a 19th century Mexican trade route, also runs through this area. For more information, please contact the Canyon of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum by calling 970-882-5600. The Visitor Center has travel and hiking brochures in two outside racks to help you plan your visit to the Monument. The paved, 1/2 mile hiking trail at the museum to Dominguez and Escalante Pueblos remains open for your enjoyment

Mesa Verde National Park

In 1978, Mesa Verde National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its exceptional archaeological relevance. Protecting thousands of archaeological sites, including hundreds of cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde National Park is perched high in Southwest Colorado where the air is thin, the history is rich, and the views are spectacular

Cliff Dwelling Tour Tickets

Visiting a Cliff Dwelling

Most cliff dwellings can be entered only on a ticketed tour with a ranger. The 2022 tour season will run from May 1 through October 22.

Tour tickets can be purchased only on
 recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Tickets are available 14 days in advance, 8:00 am MST, on a rolling daily window. For example, tickets for May 2nd will be available starting April 18th at 8:00 am MDT. Demand for tour tickets is high. We recommend reserving tickets as soon as they become available. 

The one cliff dwelling that can be visited without a tour is Step House, on Wetherill Mesa.

Ranger-Assisted Tours

A ranger-assisted tour is a timed-entry experience that allow visitors to move through a cliff dwelling at their own pace and in a socially distanced way. Rangers stationed along the route will facilitate and provide interpretation.

Long House
Located on Wetherill Mesa, Long House tours offer visitors an opportunity to enjoy the quieter side of Mesa Verde. As the second-largest cliff dwelling, Long House feels both grand and intimate. Visitors will enjoy changing landscapes, picturesque views of distant canyons and mesas, and an active seep spring within the dwelling.

This 60-minute, ranger-assisted tour involves hiking 2.25 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of about 130 feet (40 m) and climbing two 15-foot (4.5 m) ladders within the site. 

May 22 to October 22, 2022
9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm; tours every ½ hour

Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace is a world-famous masterpiece of architecture and design and the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Built between 1190 and 1280 CE, Cliff Palace was once home to over 100 people.  Today, it stands as a testament to the engineering and artistic achievements of the Ancestral Pueblo people. For a virtual tour of Cliff Palace, go to
 https://go.nps.gov/CPvideo .

On this 30-minute ranger-assisted tour, you will descend uneven stone steps and climb four ladders, with an elevation change of 100 feet.  Total walking distance is 1/4 mile.

Ranger-Guided Tours

On these more intimate, in-depth tours, rangers guide small groups into the park's backcountry to visit several of the park's lesser-seen cliff dwellings.

Balcony House
A tour of Balcony House is one of the most adventurous in the park and not for the faint-of-heart. You will scale the face of a cliff via several tall ladders, squeeze your way through a narrow tunnel on your hands and knees, and explore some of the same passages used over 800 years ago! For those ready for the challenge, this tour offers you the chance to follow in the footsteps of the Ancestral Pueblo residents who lived there. For a virtual tour, go to https://go.nps.gov/BHvideo 

On this one-hour tour, you will climb a 32-foot ladder, crawl through an 18-inch wide and 12-foot long tunnel, and climb up a 60-foot open cliff face with uneven stone steps and two 17-foot adders to exit.

*Expected to reopen July 1, 2022, following the completion of road construction, but date is subject to change. 

Mug House
Named for three mugs tied together with yucca rope found hanging inside one of its rooms, Mug House was a village of 80 to 100 residents during the 1100 to 1200s CE. Along the rough trail to Mug House, tours will also experience Adobe Cave, Ancestral Pueblo rock art, and wonderful views of Rock Canyon.

This strenuous 90-minute, 2.25-mile round-trip hike is along an unpaved, uneven trail that descends 100 ft, and includes steep drop-offs, switchbacks, and scrambling up and down boulders. Each hiker must be able to scramble over boulders and navigate steep gravel trails unassisted. 

May 22 to October 22, 2022
9:00 am and 11:00 am


Square Tower House
Featuring the tallest standing structure in the park, an intact kiva roof, original plaster and paint, and plentiful rock art, Square Tower House is one of Mesa Verde's most impressive cliff dwellings. Visitors to the Mesa Top Loop can get a great view from the overlook, but intrepid hikers are treated to an adventurous and intimate look inside Square Tower House on this special ranger-guided tour.

 

This strenuous 90-minute, 1-mile round-trip hike is along an unpaved, uneven trail that descends 100 feet, and includes steep drop-offs, switchbacks, and two ladders (the longest is 20 feet. Each hiker must be able to scramble over boulders and navigate steep gravel trails unassisted. 

Daily May 28 to June 15, 2022
8:30 am

 

Hiking Mesa Verde

Knife Edge Trail

Difficulty: Easy 
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip


Elevation Change: 60 feet

Trailhead: Morefield Campground

This level trail follows a section of the historic park road, built in 1914, along Mesa Verde’s north escarpment. Views to the northwest make this trail a great place to enjoy sunset.

 

Point Lookout Trail

Difficulty: Moderate 
Distance: 2.2 miles roundtrip


Elevation Change: 400 feet

Trailhead: Morefield Campground

Steep switchbacks climb from Morefield Canyon to the top of Point Lookout, the iconic geological formation towering above the park entrance. Hikers are rewarded with views of the San Juan and La Plata Mountains and the Mancos and Montezuma Valleys

 

Prater Ridge Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous 
Distance: 7.8 miles roundtrip


North Loop: 5.7 mile roundtrip;

South Loop: 4.6 miles roundtrip 


Elevation Change: 675 feet

Trailhead: Morefield Campground

After climbing 1.1 miles to the top of Prater Ridge, hikers may choose to hike either or both loops. Turn right for the longer north loop (3.6 miles), to follow the mesa’s edge high above Montezuma Valley, or left for the south loop (2.4 miles), which looks over Prater and Morefield Canyons.

 

Chapin Mesa

Chapin Mesa Trails are open 8 am to sunset.

 

Petroglyph Point Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 2.4 miles roundtrip

Elevation Change: 227 feet

Trailhead: Spruce Tree House Overlook, by the Chapin Mesa Museum

A rugged and adventurous trail with steep drop offs. Hikers traverse the side of Spruce Canyon, squeezing between boulders and descending narrow stone staircases to reach a large petroglyph panel at 1.4 miles (2.3 km). From here, hikers must climb a 100-foot (30 m) cliff, scrambling up rocks and uneven sandstone steps to the mesa top, before returning through pinyon-juniper forest on the mesa top to complete the loops

 

Spruce Canyon Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 2.4 miles roundtrip

Elevation Change: 558 feet  

Trailhead: Spruce Tree House Overlook, by the Chapin Mesa Museum

This scenic trail leads hikers down swithchbacks and through shady Spruce Canyon, showcasing Mesa Verde’s diverse ecosystems. A steep climb leads out of the canyon and then passes through the picnic area to return to the museum.

 

Farming Terrace Trail

Difficulty: Easy 
Distance: 0.5 miles roundtrip

Elevation Change: 150 feet

Trailhead: on the Cedar Tree Tower road

This short trail drops into a side drainage of Soda Canyon past a series of well-preserved check dams built by Ancestral Pueblo farmers.

 

Far View Sites

Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 0.75 miles roundtrip


Trailhead: Far View Sites parking area, along main park road, four miles north of museum. Parking is limited to vehicles under 25 feet.

This mesa-top community includes Far View House, four other villages, and a dry reservoir. In ancient times, the community was a place of modest homes interspersed with small farm fields. It was a place filled with people, vibrant life, and constant change. As you follow the woodland trail among the six sites, read the trailside signs to learn about Ancestral Pueblo life in the surrounding landscape between 900 to 1300 CE.

 

Wetherill Mesa

Wetherill Mesa is closed nightly and seasonally. Note that all Wetherill Mesa trails pass through areas burned in the 2000 Pony Fire, where there is no shade.

 

Step House

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 1 mile roundtrip

Elevation Change: 165 ft  

Trailhead: Wetherill Mesa Kiosk

The Step House trail is open only when staffed by a ranger; please check current hours of operation. This paved-and-gravel trail loops into Long Canyon and through Step House, a unique cliff dwelling featuring two distinct periods of Pueblo architecture.

 

Nordenskiold Site No. 16 Trail

Difficulty: Moderate 
Distance: 2 miles roundtrip 


Elevation Change: 95 feet

Trailhead: Wetherill Mesa Kiosk 
Pets allowed

Follow the gravel trail south from the Wetherill Mesa kiosk, then turn right at the sign to follow the Nordenskiöld Site #16 Trail to an overlook of a cliff dwelling in Rock Canyon. This village of about 50 rooms is named for the Swedish scholar Gustaf Nordenskiöld, who excavated the site in 1891.

 

Badger House Community Trail

Difficulty: Moderate 
Distance: 2.25 miles roundtrip

Elevation Change: 111 feet

Trailhead: Wetherill Mesa Kiosk


Pets allowed

Take the gravel trail south from the Wetherill Mesa Kiosk, pass the junction to Nordenskiöld Site #16 Trail and cross the paved Long House Loop to explore the 1-mile loop

through the Badger House Community—four excavated mesa top villages representing 600 years of Pueblo history.

Long House Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

Distance: 5 miles roundtrip

Elevation Change: 177 feet

Trailhead: Wetherill Mesa Kiosk

Pets allowed

 

This paved trail loops around the top of Wetherill Mesa to the Badger House Community (2.5 miles roundtrip), Long House Overlook (3 miles roundtrip) and Kodak House Overlook (4.5 miles roundtrip). This trail is open to hiking, biking, and pets.

 

There are a variety of restaurants in Mesa Verde National Park

Spruce Tree Terrace Café - Convenient cafeteria service near Mesa Verde park headquarters and the Chapin Mesa Museum, with indoor and patio dining offering a seasonally updated menu filled with fresh, delicious appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. 

Far View Terrace Cafe - Casual food-court setting features a breakfast buffet and omelet station and standard breakfast fare. For lunch, daily specials including salads, sandwiches, pizza and pasta. The Mesa Mocha Espresso Bar offers coffee and espresso beverages featuring Desert Sun Coffee Roasters, snacks, and Grab & Go breakfasts and lunches.

Metate Room - Mesa Verde's fine dining experience, located in the Far View Lodge, and offering wild game, fresh fish, and local organic produce, all with a contemporary Southwestern flare. 

Far View Lounge - From above the Far View Lodge, enjoy stunning views along with pub fare, appetizers, and snacks, and a wide variety of cocktails, beer, and wine. The relaxing atmosphere is perfect for socializing with friends and family, trading stories of the day's adventures, or watching a sporting event on TV.

Knife Edge Cafe Knife Edge Cage - Outdoor patio offering pancakes and other breakfast foods, located in Morefield Campground.

Morefield Campground Store  - Store offering basic food, snacks, and beverages, located in Morefield Campground.

 

THINGS TO DO WHILE VISITING DOLORES

Rio Grande Southern Railroad Museum

The Galloping Goose Historical Society museum and gift shop in Dolores, CO is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Also occasionally open Sundays, subject to the whims of the volunteers. Call ahead to confirm hours.  Admission to the museum is free.

Location:

Galloping Goose Historical of Dolores, Inc.
421 Railroad Ave.
Dolores, CO 81323

Phone: 970-882-7082

McPhee Reservoir

McPhee Reservoir is the fifth largest reservoir in CO.  It was constructed and is operated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Dolores Project, and dams the Dolores River to furnish irrigation water for Montezuma and Dolores counties and the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation.

There are boat rentals available at McPhee Reservoir or take your paddle board, kayak  or canoe out and have fun.

McPhee Reservoir is named for McPhee, Colorado, a company town founded by the New Mexico Lumber Company, that is now submerged under the reservoir. In 1927, the McPhee sawmill produced over half of Colorado's lumber. The town housed up to 1,500 employees. The sawmill closed in 1946.
The lake itself may be accessed from near Dolores, Colorado, by SH 145 and SH 184, and offers various boat-launching facilities and picnic areas. The lake fills the lower end of the Dolores Valley, with the dam completed in 1985 across Dolores Canyon.

Geyser Spring Trail – 33 miles from Dolores

The Geyser Spring Trail is a quick out and back that provides beautiful Rocky Mountain vistas and access to the only true geyser in Colorado. The trail winds it’s way through dense aspen groves uphill through switchbacks to the top of a ridge. From here the trail cuts around the ridge, with beautiful views of the San Miguel mountain range, and down the other side to a ravine. Here you will find the geyser, ice blue in color and bubbling alongside a creek. The geyser erupts at approximately 30 minute intervals, although the action is very subtle.  Besides the geyser, the hike itself is a lot of fun. It’s quiet, relaxing, and fairly easy.

Traditional Charm Antique Mall

If you enjoy browsing antiques you will enjoy this Dolores gem.

315 Central Avenue  Dolores, CO, 81323   970-882-2424

 

Dolores Restaurants

Dolores River Brewery - Brew Pub

100 S 4th, Dolores, CO 81323

 970-882-4677

Open: 4:00 PM - 11:00 PM

 

Montezuma Mexican Restaurant – Mexican

18396 Highway 145, Dolores, CO

1 970-676-0043

 

The Depot – Quick Bites - breakfast, lunch, dinner

520 Railroad Ave, Dolores, CO

 970-882-7500

 

Chavolitos Mexican

2nd Street, Dolores, CO

970-676-0538

 

Loop's Coffee House & Bistro - Coffee & Tea, Café

795 Railroad Ave, Dolores, CO

 970-676-0544

 

6. Whistler's Walk – Burgers – best burgers and chicken fried steak in town

101 S 11th St, Dolores, CO 81323

970-676-0555

WEBSITES OF IMPORTANCE

www.visitmesaverde.com

This website provides all the information you need to plan your visit to Mesa Verde National Park

www.nps.gov

This website is a great resource to research any and all national parks.

They also have an app that you can download to your phone and have all resources at your fingertips

 

           

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARTNERS