Mesa Verde National Park

We’re taking you to Mesa Verde National Park in Southern Colorado to experience the 800+ year old Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings. These incredibly well-preserved ancient ruins will really get you going as you walk through actual steps and pathways the Ancient Puebloan people did nearly a century before. We did Cliff Palace, Long House, and Balcony House on this trip. In this episode we share what you’ll see on those tours, tips for visiting Mesa Verde National Park, and make you feel like you’re exploring the park with us.

Mesa Verde – Episode Transcript

Hello Fellow Travelers. Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast. This week we’re giving you the scoop on visiting Mesa Verde National Park. It’s located in the southwest corner of Colorado and it’s a UNESCO World heritage site.

3 (1m 12s):
Mesa Verde is known for its well preserved Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. For over 700 years, the Ancestral Puebloan people built thriving communities on the Mesa and into the cliffs at Mesa Verde. Today the part protects the rich cultural heritage of the 26 Pueblos and the tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past.

2 (1m 34s):
I am so glad that we went here. This park was on the top of my list for so long. I love Ancient Ruins. Y’all know they really get me going and this park did not disappoint. It was just so amazing to walk among the 800 plus year old Cliff Dwellings exactly where the people lived and to see them so intact. That’s what really blew me away. I recommend everyone visit this place and it’s very affordable.

3 (2m 1s):
Yeah, and we took this trip in August of 2020 and we met up with our hometown friend Robin. Yeah. And not to say she’s not my friend, of course she is, but I mean you and Brittany go way back with Robin, I mean junior high age, right?

1 (2m 15s):
I think Kim’s actually known her for longer than that. We started all being friends in junior high. So it’s been like two full decades of friendship for the three of us, but Kim’s known her a little bit longer than I have

2 (2m 26s):
And I think that’s really cool. So since I moved to Austin this year, you know Robin always came to San Diego to visit us at least once a year. And so this year I was like, Robin, instead of you coming to San Diego, why don’t we meet somewhere? And that was a best friend tradition that I hope we continue year after year cause it was so

1 (2m 44s):
Fun. I hope so too. It was really fun. Like Jamal and I flew in from San Diego. Robin flew in from like the Sacramento area of California and then Kim flew in from Austin. But it was just nice that like all of our flights pretty much met up at the same time and they all landed around the same time, got to see each other and then just spend the weekend together. It was really a fun trip.

3 (3m 5s):
I was really so stoked that Robin was able to make it. So shout out to Robin. I know you’re listening Robin, shout out to you. But you know, I was really excited. Like I said that she came, but more importantly, we’ve been talking about Mesa Verde for a long, long time and it’s been like one of your number one I want to go to soon National Parks and they closed it for Covid and not like the rest of the national parks. Like literally these Cliff Dwellings that are the highlight of Mesa Verde where the indigenous Native Americans literally built cities and towns into the Cliff itself. You need ranger guided tours and because of Covid like they had that close. So the park opened up but you couldn’t get any of the reservations to actually do the guided tours, which you don’t want to go there and just look at it from the outside.

3 (3m 47s):
You wanna be there and actually make the hikes and climb the ladders to get to it, which we’re gonna talk about here coming up. And they did

1 (3m 53s):
Road construction too. So for a while the road was even closed. Like during Covid they were, I guess they said like let’s take this opportunity to improve the roads so the roads were even shut down so you couldn’t get to some parts of the park and if you were only able to see just a part of it, I feel like you’d be a little disappointed. So I’m really glad we waited until we did and it all worked out. But we’re gonna go ahead and start with the tips. Like we always do tip first, dive right in and Jamal kind of touched into it, you do need ranger guided tours to see a lot of the Cliff Dwellings. And so you do need to book the tours in advance. So in order to do that you have to go to recreation.gov, create an account, and just know that the reservations go on sale 14 days in advance and you wanna book right on the dot right when they open the tickets.

1 (4m 39s):
Because when I was trying to book the trip for us, I was trying to book a tour and I got on the website right away and within seconds the tickets that I wanted sold out. So I tried again. Which tour was it that sold out? It was I think Cliff Palace that sold out like Cliff Palace is the major one. So it sold out within minutes. I couldn’t even get us tickets for a Saturday so I was like really bummed about it. But we just altered our plans and I booked the tickets for Sunday and it all worked out well.

3 (5m 7s):
Luckily for us, we’re gonna be there two days to do it, but if you are only allotting one day, there you go. You can actually have a big fuck up. That’s not even your fault being there right on the dot and missing it. So again, book the tour and be right on the dot when the time opens up for you to do it 14 days in advance. Another tip keeping with the reservations is be careful to not book your tours too close together, right? Because a lot of the Cliff Dwellings are far away from each other. So you may think to yourself like, oh okay, like I’m gonna be done with this one and 30 minutes is enough time for me to get to the next Cliff Dwellings. Well, not necessarily so. So do your research, find out which ones you want to do, how far it is from this one to that one, that way you can allot the appropriate time because if you miss your tour, I mean you miss your tour, you’re not getting on the next one or anything like that.

2 (5m 57s):
In fact, one of our listeners, Ryan, he actually did go here and he was messaging us on Instagram about it saying that he missed one of his tours because he booked them too close together and didn’t realize that for some of them there’s actually a walk to the location once you get there. So you really do need to plan accordingly.

1 (6m 16s):
Another tip that we have for you is, although this national park is located in Colorado, Denver is not the closest airport. The closest major airport is actually the Albuquerque airport in New Mexico. And then on a smaller airport side, Telluride is a smaller closer airport as well.

3 (6m 35s):
Guided tours run from the end of May to late October, but they don’t all run at the same time. So again, as you’re planning your trip, just know that these are the dates in which they have the tours May to October and sometimes certain Cliff Dwellings aren’t available during the season. And

2 (6m 51s):
You may be asking yourself why may Maita October when it is hot as hell out there? Well because in the winter it’s snowing and you can’t get to these Dwellings or it’s really not safe to be climbing up a ladder when you’re in the middle of a snowstorm.

1 (7m 2s):
Another tip we have for you of course, this is my favorite tip, is to make sure you download the offline maps. We did luth cell reception in some parts you don’t have it well in the parks as well. So if you’re going to want to navigate between one location and the park to the other, definitely download the offline map, select the area of which you wanna download and then you can navigate through the park just as if you had cell service.

3 (7m 26s):
I’m surprised the download offline maps was this far down on the tips. It’s usually right at the forefront of it.

1 (7m 31s):
Yeah, but you know those tours are so important.

3 (7m 34s):
That’s very, very true. And our final tip that we have for you guys get in America the Beautiful pass which is gonna be $80 and this is your good for one rolling year National park pass so that you can get into national monuments, national parks, it’s

1 (7m 49s):

3 (7m 49s):
Forests, national forests, it’s $80 for the entire year. Otherwise here at Mesa Verde it’s going to be $30 to enter for seven days depending on the season. But you know for 50 more dollars, why don’t you get a little bit more bang for your buck? And I really say I

1 (8m 3s):
Think it’s 30 during the summer and 20 during the winter.

3 (8m 6s):
It’s about what it is.

1 (8m 7s):
The Cliff Dwellings aren’t available to see during the winter.

2 (8m 11s):
And then also know that you do have to pay to enter the park. You also have to pay to reservation those tours.

1 (8m 17s):
Yeah, the tours though aren’t very expensive. They’re about $8 per person per tour. But then to enter the park itself it’s $30 on top of that depending on the season. Worth it

2 (8m 27s):
Though. Worth

1 (8m 28s):
It. So we just went here on a weekend getaway, a little weekender for us and so we all flew into Albuquerque on a nice Friday night. We picked up our rental car. Robin actually meant us at the rental car pickup place and

2 (8m 42s):
Actually she got there sooner because we were having flight delay issues. Oh

1 (8m 46s):
Yeah, we did, yeah, Kim, Jamal and I, even though we were coming from different areas, we all met up to Vegas. So Kim actually had to fly from Texas to Vegas back to New Mexico where Jamal and I flew from San Diego to Vegas to Albuquerque. So

2 (9m 2s):
Friday night we, we got in kind of late so we really just ended up booking a cheap hotel near the airport, crashing out for a few hours, literally a few I think getting up super early the next morning.

1 (9m 13s):
Yeah. So as we were planning this trip, I was like, you know, what’s the earliest we can get a Cliff dwelling tour in? And I think we said, what was it like 1130 or something like that, which means we had to leave at 5:00 AM but because with the flight delays we didn’t get to sleep until like 1:00 AM

3 (9m 32s):
And we woke up at 4:00 AM because from where we were in Albuquerque, it’s about a four, four and a half hour drive to get to where we needed to be. More specifically the trail head to the Cliff dwelling is,

2 (9m 45s):
And for this route we were really close on time so we had looked at the map planned out exactly where we were gonna stop to get coffee, to get breakfast cuz there really wasn’t that many places along the route.

1 (9m 58s):
Yeah and I think that’s a really good tip Kim because a lot of the times like when you live in like large cities or California, you’re like okay, I’ll stop at the next exit. Well if you stop at the next exit in some of these places in New Mexico, there’s nothing out there. So we had to look on a map in advance like where’s a town that actually has some gas, breakfast options, coffee options so that we could stop and like maximize the experience there And we’re like okay, we gotta be quick, we gotta know like in and out get what we want kind of thing. And then another tip too is if you map to Mesa Verde National Park, it’ll put you at the park entrance. But to get to the tours, they’re farther in. So from the park entrance to the actual Cliff tour, it could be another 45 minute to an hour drive.

1 (10m 40s):

3 (10m 41s):
And that’s a really good tip. And for how pressed for time that we actually felt we ended up getting to the park earlier than anticipated. So we were gonna do Cliff Palace first, but since we got there a little bit early, another Cliff dwelling that was actually pretty close to that was going to be the spruce treehouse. So we actually parked in the parking lot there, got a view of it far away. We weren’t able to actually go up to it or anything like that, but we just killed a little bit more time till we had our 1130 Cliff Palace tour.

1 (11m 10s):
So the Cliff Palace tours a 30 minute tour and I stand corrected. We were doing Balcony house the next day. That’s the tour that I had difficulties getting reservations for. So Cliff Palace, I was able to get those reservations. We had an 1130. But this tour is amazing. You start at the top, you can actually look down into the Cliff Palace ruins from above. So it’s one that you can see from, I wouldn’t say the roadside, but from a viewing point you meet with the the Ranger and they tell you a little bit about the history of the park, a little bit about the history of the Ancestral Puebloan people, about the safety that you need to do while you’re down there and what to expect. And there’s probably about what 30, 40 people on the tour about.

1 (11m 53s):
Yeah. And it was amazing like just to be able to see the Cliff Palace, it’s world famous. I mean when you see pictures of Mesa Verde National Park, a lot of the times it is pictures of Cliff Palace.

3 (12m 4s):
And I was gonna say, just do yourself a favor. I feel like I say this a lot of times in episodes, but I give this tip because you really, really should to just get a better context of what we’re talking about, Google Mesa Verde National Park and you will see a plethora of photos of these Cliff Dwellings that we’re talking about. And these are Cliff Dwellings where literally the Native Americans and Ancestral Puebloan people, they literally built homes and towns into the Cliff edges themselves. And here they are still standing. I remember on some of the tours they were saying like maybe one of the Cliff Dwellings is like 85% original where another one is maybe 60 cuz they had to do restoration, this and that, but it doesn’t matter, it still really gives you the sense of like, wow, like 800 years ago, like people were living this way.

3 (12m 53s):
And on top of that, beyond even them just literally having cities and towns on there, they were talking about like the kivas, which they literally built holes below the ground and they talk about how this is how they kept warm. And even during the hot times it was actually cool in there and insulated. So it was like one temperature to like year round and they had all this smarts and know how to really build it with the insulation to keep it a temperate temperature. Like it just blows my mind that people were living like this. Like if I lived 800 years ago, I would hope to live like this. Oh

2 (13m 24s):
Yeah, it was amazing. So I’m glad that we did this one first because you can see it from the top. So you’re, you’re so excited you we hadn’t seen any Cliff Dwellings yet so it was amazing to see. And then I’m actually surprised that it was 30 minutes because it felt like longer. It did feel

1 (13m 43s):

2 (13m 44s):
You do have plenty of time to walk through it and and on this one you don’t actually get to walk in the ruins. You walk alongside them and you look at them, you get really good pictures, it’s amazing. But I’m glad that we did this one first because as we go through the three tours that we did, they get increasingly better and you get to be more involved with them. So if this one was less, we would’ve been a little underwhelmed.

1 (14m 6s):
I think so too. I think that’s a really good point because we were only able to walk through them and in front of them and you can’t really see all of the structures that they’ve made and the how the the homes are built and all of that. But you do have some time to like enjoy it and it’s a quick one cuz it’s not as big as some of the other ones. But what’s amazing is they did say that this was once home to like a hundred people. So that is crazy to think about as well. And at the very end there is a Kiva so we did get to stand kind of on, not on top of it but like around it and look down. So that was really cool. Just being mindful though that for this tour you do have to be able to go down like staircases cuz you start from the top of the Mesa and you go down and then to climb out you have to go up I think four ladders.

1 (14m 53s):
And so if you have knee problems or you’re not as mobile, that could be a little difficult but really cool to see. Definitely worth it. And a Squad tip for you guys was a lot of people wanna be in front because they want pictures without people. But if you also stay towards the very back, everyone walks ahead and then you have pictures to yourself because no one’s behind you. So that’s a good Squad tip for you guys. Great tip.

3 (15m 17s):
Yeah and all in all, this 30 minute tour is only a quarter mile. So again you have the steps down, the ladders up and again you know you’re just really walking along the edge of the Dwellings when you’re down there. But obviously other tours which we’ll get to later allow you the opportunity to get into the structure itself. But it’s still really cool as a just an initial teaser at Cliff Palace to be down there and see it right in front of you. And again, tours July 1st to October 22nd, 9:00 AM to 1130 and 1:00 PM to three 30 and tours are every half hour for a Cliff Palace. So that goes back to the tip that we were talking about earlier. Not all of the Dwellings run tours seasonally from that time that we said that they do on

2 (15m 59s):
This trip we did three tours and we’re gonna talk about all three but there were other ones. So if you’re thinking about taking this trip, go on to the website and look at all the tours they have and if you have more time than we did too, do ’em all. There was one tour we didn’t do called Mug Palace. I really wanted to do that one if we had more time.

3 (16m 17s):
Do you remember why it was called Mug Palace? I

1 (16m 19s):
Think it was Mug house.

2 (16m 20s):
Mug house, yes, yes, yes. And it was because of the wood that they used to make these two story Dwellings, the wood planks or wood beams, whatever they were, they stick out and then they hung all their mugs there.

3 (16m 35s):
So I think actually when archeologists found it, didn’t they find like true native mugs that were still hanging from there? They would’ve been

1 (16m 41s):
Cool to see them. Yeah, I don’t think they found any mugs still hanging but I think in the ground they found they did. They did, yeah. Find ones that were still

2 (16m 48s):
The pictures online

3 (16m 48s):
And they’ve removed them now so it still has the name but you can’t actually see them. But when they found them you still had like Ancient artifacts that were hanging there, which were their mugs or cups.

2 (16m 59s):
In terms of history, 800 years is not that long and especially because of how remote these Dwellings are, I mean you have to work to get to them. They said the rangers there said that they’re still uncovering artifacts today. And even walking on the pathway where anybody could walk, they’re finding shards of pottery. Pottery and different artifacts. So cool.

1 (17m 23s):
In times like that I would wanna be an archeologist, like go explore, dig some things up. I

2 (17m 28s):
Would love to be an archeologist.

1 (17m 30s):
But yeah it’s so amazing this national park. So the next tour that we took was called the Long House tour. This tour is an hour long and we booked it in the afternoon at two 30. And I wanna say that on the national Park website they did have some guidelines saying like if you book Cliff Palace in the morning book Long House like three to four hours later. And the reason why is because you have to drive to another section of the park and then on top of that you have to hike to the starting point and the hike round trip to get there is 2.25 miles. So you have to take that into consideration on time. You have to park in the parking lot, go to the bathroom, do this hike and then get to the starting point.

1 (18m 11s):
So it takes a little bit longer to get there. And so just keep that in mind as you’re planning this trip out. And I believe that this is the hike and the tour our fellow squatty was unable to complete. Oh

2 (18m 24s):
Yes Ryan. Yeah this is the one he missed unfortunately. So don’t make that mistake. Give yourself plenty of time to get there and do the hike in.

3 (18m 32s):
Yeah again the parking lot is far and then you call it a hike and yes it is but I would say it’s more so a trail. It is flat out there but it takes a long time to walk from the parking lot. It’s hot there.

2 (18m 43s):
You can avoid doing it at two 30. I would recommend that. Yes.

3 (18m 47s):
And you know, lucky for us, we actually got there a little bit early cuz again we wanted to adjust and make sure that we didn’t miss it. And we got there when they were actually doing a briefing for the tour that was starting a half hour before ours and they told us, oh are you for the next tour? We said yeah. They said, okay, sit over here. We were sitting in a nice little shaded spot and after they gave the briefing the ranger came up to us and he was like, you know we had a couple cancellations and no-show. Do you guys want to just tag along to this? So we got done earlier and got a good a half hour earlier, which was actually really, really cool. So that opportunity may present itself to you also, but I was really stoked that we didn’t have to sit there another half hour.

1 (19m 25s):
And this is the second largest Cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park. So it’s pretty big. Feels pretty grand. And I did feel like it was more intimate than Cliff Palace because you get to really be among the structure and like really see different parts of it. So that was really cool

2 (19m 42s):
And you don’t realize how big it is until you’re in it, right? You’re just looking at it, it looks amazing, it looks cool, but once you get in there, like they literally built walls and things behind things and two stories. So once you’re in there, there’s all these other passageways and you’re going behind things and you feel like at one with the people that used to be there.

3 (20m 2s):
You know what’s really cool about these Dwellings that they have is and they were talking about it, I mean to an extent it’s one of those weird things of nature, right? You could be in a place during summer that’s so freaking hot and so dry and then come winter it’s just barreled with snow and water and everything like that. Well obviously during the summer times where are you actually going to get water? Well they had a river running down at the bottom of the canyon there. But these Dwellings aren’t built at the bottom, they’re somewhere in between. So can you imagine? I mean water’s heavy hiking it back up. But they built these in strategic locations to where they have what’s called sea springs. So basically the water would come down through the rock and it acts as a natural filter and I forgot when it hits a different layer of type of rock and I forgot which one it is, the water can’t go through it anymore.

3 (20m 50s):
So they have a natural filtered water system and here when we’re at Long House you could actually see it like everywhere around is like stone and kind of dry carved in there and then all of a sudden you saw like a line of green moss and here’s this active sea spring where they really still have water. So they built these in strategic locations also. And that was so interesting And here finally we actually got to go into the Dwellings themselves, climb into some of the windows itself, like stand onto the kivas, this and that. So it was really cool At Long House,

2 (21m 19s):
What’s crazy is we thought they were windows, but as we learn in the tours, their doors were actually very tiny passageways that look like windows. So it makes you think like what size were people back then? I guess they’re pretty small, small,

3 (21m 35s):
Small. Like five foot and under sometimes no more than five five, you know? How did we

2 (21m 39s):
Get so tall? Well not Brittany, but how’d you get so told

3 (21m 43s):
I diet change and having everything so readily available to eat is really kind of what did it for everybody.

1 (21m 50s):
Another thing too is you start again at the top of the Mesa, this is weather real Mesa and then you kind of hike down and as you’re hiking down you see this beautiful view of the canyon below and it would just be so amazing to live there. Like the view that they had year round must have been so incredible. As much as I was looking at the Cliff Dwellings, I was also looking at the landscape beneath them and around them and what just like a serene place to to be.

2 (22m 18s):
And they said that the drought that they had way back when that kind of caused them to migrate is the similar drought to what they’re Experiencing now. So what we saw when we were there is pretty much what they would’ve saw when they were there.

1 (22m 32s):
Yeah, so crazy history, how it repeats itself in some ways. Yeah.

3 (22m 36s):
Did were these Ancient ruins enough to get you like really juiced up Kim? Oh

2 (22m 41s):
I was going,

3 (22m 42s):
Yeah because you know when we think Ancient ruins you think like in other countries and stuff like that, maybe larger like temples and pyramids and even though, I mean these are large, not necessarily on the scale we think of when we think of like international stuff, but it was still so impressive. Like my juices were even flowing on this one. I was just like man, but like it just trips me out to see the ingenuity of people back in the day and what they did to survive. And it’s like mind blowing when you’re here you really get to appreciate it And as we’re talking about it, I’m not gonna lie, you know the rangers do it so much more justice to go into such great detail of exactly you know, what it is that they had to do to build these and also kind of put you in the mindset of like imagine you’re somebody living 800 years ago and then really putting it into perspective.

3 (23m 27s):
And that’s half the fun of this national park too, is really like, not even just the scenery but like immersing yourself into thinking like, yeah, what would I have done? How would I have been really intriguing?

2 (23m 37s):
This site was, they said potentially used for parties too or ceremonies or whatever cuz it had a big space, a flat space. And then in the center of it they had what looked like it was a fire pit,

1 (23m 50s):

2 (23m 51s):
And so they were talking about could have been weddings or harvest festivals or whatever else, but it was cool, it was really cool to sit there and just be like, this is what they would’ve been doing right here. Yeah.

3 (24m 3s):
And heads up this tour as we said is an hour long, but they do tours every half hour. So eventually by the time you get down to the dwelling there’ll be another tour at the very end of it for you. So you kind of share the space but it’s so large down there that you don’t really feel like you’re overlapping with people. And so just do definitely keep that in mind. And you know what a great first day seeing those two Cliff Dwellings for us. And so when we were done we were like, all right, obviously we’re leaving the park itself and we stayed in Cortez Colorado for the night and that’s the biggest city that you’re probably gonna wanna stay at if you’re going to Mesa Verde National

1 (24m 42s):
Park. And by this time we had worked up an appetite, we had gotten up at 4:00 AM we were leaving the hotel by 5:00 AM we had quite the drive we had stopped for breakfast. We kind of picked some stuff up to like help hold us over. There is a place to eat within Mesa, Verde National Park. And they had pretty

2 (24m 58s):
Good options.

1 (24m 59s):
They did have pretty good options. But we wanted to wait until we had dinner in Cortez and we were looking online and we were looking an iron Thai Cortez. And let me tell you, it was so worth the weight. The drunken noodles and the curries were so delicious. My god, it wa it like really hit the spot. You

3 (25m 18s):
Yeah, you, you know what’s really funny is that sometimes when you’re in certain places you’re like, is this type of cuisine gonna be good here? We’ve had Thai in some of the most random small cities and in those places they have not disappointed have they? I feel like Thai is probably one of the most consistent, although I will say this, when you have bad Thai, you have bad tie. But like Thai in a small city, we’ve actually been pretty good. Ironically the shitty tie that we’ve had has been in larger cities. I’ve never really had I,

2 (25m 43s):
I don’t know if I’ve ever had shitty tie. I don’t know if that’s possible Peru, but I was gonna say the the least appetizing of Thai, which is always good was in Cusco, Peru.

1 (25m 56s):
Yeah, definitely.

3 (25m 57s):
So if you’re staying in Cortez, go to Thai Cortez. Honestly really, really good Thai, you won’t be disappointed. It was absolutely delicious.

2 (26m 6s):
I made a joke in our notes for this episode that this episode was sponsored by Wendy’s. It’s not sponsored by Wendy’s, but we did go to Wendy’s that night and got frosties for dinner and for dessert. For dessert. Yeah. Not for dinner.

3 (26m 21s):
Well we were all so tired from getting in late, waking up early and we actually brought our microphone to record an episode with Robin when we were there. Not about Mesa Verde cuz we had one more day, but we were like, fuck do we even have the energy to record? And we were all just like so tied and we’re like, all right, let’s go get a sugar high, we’re gonna go get our frosties from Wendy’s. And so we ended up doing that after dinner. And you know what I really love about some places that are geared towards tourism like Cortez, cuz the national park is there. I loved the hotel that we were actually staying at. The room itself was fine. Nothing like great, wasn’t bad, but it was really cool pool area that we went to like indoors because again during winter it’s good, get really cold.

3 (27m 5s):
But it had like a wooden theme of like rustic atrium and we ended up going down and going to the hot tub that night. Art hot tub. Yeah. Like it was, no,

1 (27m 13s):
We had to share

2 (27m 14s):
I love holo lot of other people. What was the name of that hotel?

1 (27m 17s):
Oh gosh. Baymont by Wyndham Cortez.

2 (27m 21s):
And we would recommend it. It was a good price, had a great pool rooms were decent, had a

3 (27m 25s):
Breakfast buffet, woo woo. Although I will say the breakfast buffet wasn’t necessarily the best but still a breakfast buffet.

2 (27m 32s):
They did have it going for them. Pancake machine and waffle

3 (27m 36s):
Machine. Yeah they had the that’s

2 (27m 37s):
That’s pretty much all they had though. Yeah.

3 (27m 40s):
Otherwise then on top of that like they had really packaged like pastry. So it’s a little bit of a sugar overload. Yeah. But like you could make do with it a little bit but do keep that in mind.

2 (27m 51s):
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2 (28m 57s):
Hey Scotties, let’s take a quick detour to talk about our travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you.

3 (29m 3s):
We just launched several new international trip Itineraries, including Tulum and Japan. This is on top of the Itineraries we already have for us trips like the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, the US Virgin Islands, as well as National Park Trip Itineraries, including Utah’s Mighty five national parks and a week at Grand Teton and Yellowstone. These

1 (29m 25s):
Fully built out 20 to 30 page PDF guides are available for instant download on our site. Right now every detail of the trip is laid out for you, so all you have to do is download book, show up and have fun.

2 (29m 38s):
The Itineraries tell you where to fly into the exact route to take, where to stay, park entrance prices, where to eat, driving distance between attractions, the things to see and do, even the hikes we recommend they’re mileage and the time to allot for each one. And believe it or not so much more,

3 (29m 55s):
Be sure to head over to Travel Squad Podcast dot com to download your very own comprehensive travel itinerary today. So let’s talk about Sunday. What did we do the next day? We went back to Mesa. Verde. Yeah

1 (30m 7s):
We did go back because we were set on doing those three tours and this is the tour that I tried to book on Saturday, couldn’t get the tickets. So then I was like, all right, we’re gonna switch gears and book this for Sunday. And this was the Balcony house tour. This again was a 60 minute tour and because we had some time constraints in terms of getting back to Albuquerque to drop Kim off at the airport, we needed to do this first thing in the morning. So the only time slot we could really do this at was the first one, which was 9:00 AM And again, all of the tours are $8 per person at the time of this recording. I don’t know if in the future they’ll raise them or not, but that was like the current price. Pretty affordable.

2 (30m 48s):
If you can only do one tour at Mesa Verde make it this one.

1 (30m 52s):

3 (30m 53s):
I would say so. And why are we saying that? I think this description of Balcony House has taken verbatim from the National Park website. So I’m just gonna let you know. Balcony house is one of the most adventurous in the park and not for the faint of heart. You know, we like to be descriptive but I know that’s not our own text right there. So I, for the national park website you,

2 (31m 12s):
We don’t wanna be caught for plagiarism.

3 (31m 14s):
No, I know. So that’s why I’m letting you guys know. But it’s

2 (31m 17s):

3 (31m 17s):
Yes, 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 passages used over 800 years ago. Now when they say crawl through a narrow space, they mean it. You could only leave crawling through that. You have to climb up what, like several 25 foot ladders to, to the top things

2 (31m 40s):
Online saying 60 plus foot ladders. And we were kind of freaking out. But it’s not 60 feet, 32,

1 (31m 46s):
It’s 32 foot ladder. But when you do the Cliff face it’s a 60 foot ascend to the top. So I think that’s, we were kind of mixing it up in our heads and Robin was kind of freaking out. Whoa, she doesn’t like heights.

2 (31m 59s):
It feels like 60 feet when you’re on it.

3 (32m 1s):
Well yeah because they’re kind of like little narrowly carved like steps on the Cliff side and everything like that. So that portion is not ladders. I’m surprised you handle that well cause I know you don’t like heights but it still makes you like, you feel safe in there because it’s not like a sheer edge and you have something to hold onto. But those ladders are obviously like wide open. But it’s just one of those fun exciting things cuz you even think about it like if we need a ladder to get here, what type of ladder did the Ancestral Puebloan people build themselves to do this? And this is like their daily activity climbing up, climbing down. I have to bring resources, food, water, if there wasn’t any in those natural springs that they had there at that time. So challenging life nonetheless.

1 (32m 42s):
So this was my favorite, not only because of the location of it, but I really liked the guide that we had on this tour, Nicole cuz when we got to the site where we’re gonna climb up the ladders, she asked for permission to like go up into the Ancestral Puebloan structures and she was like, you know, we just really wanna respect the space and like give thanks for allowing us to be here. And I really liked that. I felt like she was super knowledgeable because she wanted to know about it. So she had done like research where I feel like some of our other guides, you’d ask questions, you’d get a more general response, but her responses were like she had really thought about it and learned about it and she shared that knowledge with us.

1 (33m 23s):
So I did really like that. I like

2 (33m 25s):
That too. And none of our guides were descendants of the Ancestral public people. But the descendants still do come back to these Dwellings in these areas in the cliffs and kind of, I don’t know exactly what they do, but they honor it, they respect it, they come here for connection to their ancestors. So it, it’s still very much today a major part of this culture. Even though they’ve migrated on and the

1 (33m 51s):
Tours are the only, I think they only offer three tours per day, which is why that they sell out so quickly because everyone is fighting for those three tour time slots. But as Kim said, if you’re gonna do one, you only have time for one tour, this is the one to do. So

2 (34m 5s):
Let’s take them through the tour, like let’s bring them on the tour with us. You get in there, you’re standing at the very beginning of the tour, our guide has asked for permission and kind of made it the spiritual moment. And then you begin, so you’re standing at the bottom of the double wide ladder,

3 (34m 24s):
A 32 foot ladder

2 (34m 25s):
Looking up 32 feet to the top.

3 (34m 27s):
It’s like vertical, it’s not even angled either really, you know to help you. It’s a straight climb up. Yep.

2 (34m 32s):
And then it’s just one after the other after the other. And we were in the front. We were so it was you and Robin in the front, right?

3 (34m 39s):
I climbed first actually. Oh then Britney and Robin,

2 (34m 42s):
Brittany, Robin, I was right behind Robin. It’s going, we’re going up Booo, I’m getting a little nervous. Robin’s right in front of me though so I can’t go any faster than she’s going right. And she’s going a little slow, she’s slowing down the dollar up we

1 (34m 56s):

2 (34m 57s):
And when we get almost to the top, Robin’s getting a little shaky and she’s really slowing down and it’s starting to make me panic a little bit. I’m just like, hurry up Robin, go. I’m freaking out.

1 (35m 6s):
We had to encourage her a little bit like hey Robin just got a few more. She made it, she made it up there. And so then once you get to the very top, you stand up and you start to see like why it’s called Balcony house really because it is on a Cliff edge and they’ve built this wall like a retaining wall halfway. It

2 (35m 24s):
Was built by the Ancestral Puebloan people and that surprised me. It was a beautiful wall.

1 (35m 29s):
Yeah. And so it’s like a halfway up retaining wall but you have just like gorgeous views like you were on a Balcony in the middle of nature

2 (35m 38s):
Overlooking the canyons vast canyon.

1 (35m 41s):
And then they do have a few rooms and the rooms and Kim, like Kim said, they look like windows but they’re actually doorways. And so you can poke your head in and just kind of look around. They do say like be mindful of what you touch cuz if you are touching things with your hands, your hands have natural oils which disrupts the the structures and breaks them down so you wanna look and not really touch. But we got to see a lot of the area. And then when we were all up there, she kind of gave us more information about Balcony house and the people that live there and they do think it was a smaller family that lived there rather than some of the larger cities. So this was more of an intimate private setting and

2 (36m 22s):
They were speculating why a family would’ve settled here because it’s very hard to get up there. So if you’re carrying food, water, whatever, it’s that much harder on you. And it also had some areas where it looked like it was fortified. So either they were trying to keep people out or maybe they were exiled from the regular larger areas. There was even, and a lot of the houses had evidence of suit

1 (36m 50s):
From the fire

2 (36m 50s):
Scarring on the cliffs. And so you could see this room had a fire and so they were here for warmth or cooking, but there was one on this one that was just black everywhere. So it was either maybe an accident because the flame got very, very hot and you could tell from the scarring or it was on purpose. So it made you think there could have been some conflict with this particular family.

3 (37m 14s):
It’s one of those things like I was saying, you know, you just really wonder how people lived and not even just the natives as a whole in this region, but even the individual’s story when they’re there. Right. And I just love when nature and history collides in some sort of way like that. It was really, really awesome. So for sure, definitely do the Balcony House again. It is the to-do tour at Mesa Verde if you’re gonna go and tours run from July 1st to October 22nd, 9:00 AM 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM So those are the three slot times that they do have for you on this one. And why it’s really tough to get. So make sure if you’re going and want to do this one, you’re on it on that recreation.gov.

2 (37m 57s):
So we haven’t finished the tour though, I wanna tell them about the other crazy parts of it. So you’re up there in the Balcony, you spend some time up there, you kind of go behind the homes to exit. And so as you go through one passageway, another huge area opens up. So there’s more back there than you can actually see you go in and then in order to exit you actually, if you’re short like us, you can do it crouching on your feet. But if you’re tall like Jamal, you really have to get on your hands and knees. You kind of

3 (38m 27s):
Curl, I got my hands and knees hurt my shins a little bit. You know

2 (38m 30s):
We have some videos we’ll post of popping out of the hole, but it’s a tiny hole that you come through, you finally get out. But that’s not all Nope. To really ascend out then you have to go on this side of a Cliff where those kind of carved out foot areas are, which would’ve been extremely scary just like Angels landing at Zion. But they had built in kind of like a fenced wired area so it was more safe. And if Angel’s Landing is listening, can you please do that? Cuz then maybe I would hide Kremlin. Maybe you

1 (39m 3s):
Would not too sure though. But that was a really amazing tour and I think it was a great note to end on and a great tour to end on like cuz that for us, I feel like was a highlight. And the two tours that we did the previous day were just like little appetizers.

2 (39m 17s):
We didn’t know it at the time until we got to Balcony house.

1 (39m 19s):
It worked out for a reason.

2 (39m 20s):
Yeah, it really did. And then we mentioned there are other tours. So Mug House was one of ’em. That would’ve been really cool.

1 (39m 27s):
Yeah. And Mug House only runs for like a month from like May to June. So if that’s one that you look at and you’re like, this is the one I wanna do, definitely make sure you’re booking to go during that time that they offer it. And then Square Tower House is another one that they have those two mug House and Square Tower House. They’re longer tour tours, they’re like 90 minute tours versus the 30 minute and hour tour earth that we did.

3 (39m 50s):
Yeah. So lots of options to do in the park. You can see them all, you can see the, the highlights of which ones you want to do and plan accordingly to that. But that was our experience at Mesa Verde and we absolutely loved it. And I would definitely go back, probably try to squeeze in one of these other tours and Balcony House again. That is for sure. But when we were done that day, I think Britney alluded to it earlier, we had to drop Kim off because you were flying home. Britney and I were continuing on a little bit. Robin was also flying home that day, but she had a later flight. So we drove back to Albuquerque, dropped you off at the airport, said Ciara to you. Kim is really what we did.

2 (40m 31s):
If you have more time, something we were trying to squeeze in but it just wasn’t gonna work was going to Four Corners.

1 (40m 37s):
Yeah. Which

2 (40m 38s):
Is the one point in the country that touches four states in one monument. Utah, Colorado,

3 (40m 45s):
Arizona, New Mexico.

2 (40m 46s):
There you go. We could have done it if we woke up really early on Sunday and did it. It was about an hour drive from Cortez. But after looking at pictures online, it didn’t look very sensational so it wasn’t worth the time. But if you, if you have the time and you can make it, I would do it.

1 (41m 3s):
I mean I think it’s one of those like moments where you’re like, oh I’m in this place and you wanna do it. But because of the time constraints we had, we just couldn’t really fit it in at that point. If I was driving through that area again. Sure, absolutely. I would stop there at the monument. If

2 (41m 17s):
I was 24, I would’ve woke up at 4:00 AM or just stayed up all night and went maybe

3 (41m 21s):
That, and Kim may not have done an early flight back home that day to cause it.

2 (41m 27s):
He blame Southwest for their shitty skin. Atul,

1 (41m 30s):
Look at who’s doing Allnighters now.

2 (41m 32s):
And actually, oh my God, the whole Southwest debacle. I did get an A later flight book, remember?

1 (41m 37s):
Yes. But then they, they canceled it. They

2 (41m 40s):
Fucking canceled it and they gave me the runaround and then I was like, all right, here we

3 (41m 45s):
Go. Still recovering from Covid flight schedules I think is really what’s going on. But anyway, we did drive back to Albuquerque, drop you off the airport. Robin was flying home that day also. And again, Brittany and I were extending our trip a little bit, but Robin’s flight wasn’t until later so she stayed with us. And 15 minutes from the Albuquerque airport is Petroglyphs National Monument. So just right outside of Albuquerque. And it’s basically the largest petro site in North America. And if again, you don’t know what petroglyphs are, they’re pretty much what, when we think of like cave drawings in there, these are like outside on rocks for you to see of what Native Americans use to, to write.

3 (42m 27s):
Maybe it’s the written language, their images and stuff. But still really cool to see just like outside of Albuquerque and there are some homes that we can see and oh in the backyard, here’s a national monument and here’s petroglyphs just on these rocks. So we ended up going and Experiencing that. And how

2 (42m 43s):
Long did you spend there?

1 (42m 43s):
We spent an hour there cuz they actually closed their, the one area we went to was called Boca Negre Canyon. And it was closing pretty early. I think it was open until four 30. So the last entry was 4:00 PM And so we got to spend about an hour there. And in that area there’s three small trails, but if you go on all three of the trails, you can see about a hundred different petroglyphs in that area. Wow. I, I read about this area because it’s one of the areas where the petroglyphs are most compact in terms of like distance you have to go. So we went there and it was really cool worth seeing. And parking’s only like one to $2 if you’re visiting or you can use your America the beautiful past, it makes free.

3 (43m 22s):
Yeah. But otherwise if you don’t have the America the beautiful, yeah, it’s one or $2 depending on day and season. But why I really like petroglyphs is I think to myself, and I guess this goes back to what we were talking about, about Mesa. Verde. What are these people trying to tell us? Were they drawing and writing these things just because or were they leaving this for future generations of what? And it’s like, what is this? Like honestly without getting conspiratorial, some of that stuff looks like aliens, some of the stuff you could clearly tell are like actual animals and birds that are native to the region. But

2 (43m 54s):
Well I wonder, do we have any sense of what the translation might be?

3 (43m 58s):
I don’t know. I don’t think they’re like hieroglyphs like in Egypt where it was kind of an alphabet and this is this and that. I mean these are literally just straight images maybe just at least to our knowledge. Yeah, I, I don’t know. But it’s like what are they drawing like on these ones? What is this supposed to be? And it’s so intriguing to see. So definitely do check it out if you’re in Albuquerque area, why not do it? It’s one of those things, you know, it was hot during that time but we went kind of late afternoon at that point so it was semi cooler. But again, short little trails, everything’s compact. So easily doable. And

1 (44m 31s):
Then at that point we dropped Robin off at the airport. And the funny thing about this weekend was this weekend was very significant on two ends. One it was the weekend anniversary of the podcast launch. Woo. Three years. Three years. And it’s also Jamal and I’s wedding weekend as well. So our star anniversary weekend, we were celebrating how many years? TA Jamal

3 (44m 52s):

1 (44m 53s):
No, no, I’m just kidding.

3 (44m 55s):
I was gonna say seven. What are you talking about? Seven Mary 15 together. Together.

1 (44m 59s):
Yes. Ugh,

3 (45m 0s):
I’m just kidding.

1 (45m 2s):
So we decided to stay an extra day and keep with the theme of celebration and celebrations and seeing other monuments of like Ancestral, Puebloan people. So we did a night in Santa Fe and we had a really nice dinner at like this Coyote Cantina. We had these amazing green chili enchiladas. Mm. And prickly P margaritas. Mm. It was really good.

3 (45m 24s):
If you haven’t been to Santa Fe, it was very interesting and I would recommend going. A lot of people really, really love it. I wouldn’t say like I’m of that, I liked it and we were in the area, but lots of people make special trips sometimes even compared to like Sedona in some sort of way. But what I mean by that is just like the feel for the town. You really go there, you have that Southwest architecture, small quaint. Really what there is now is a lot of kind of like museums and food and stuff like that. So it makes for a nice mellow place to stay. And I really enjoyed that aspect of the quaintness of Santa Fe. So not too far off from Albuquerque. So all we really did was by the time we got there, have time for dinner, go to bed.

3 (46m 7s):
But close to Santa Fe is Bandier National Monument. So this is where we kept with that theme that Britney was talking about, about more Cliff Dwellings and Petroglyph. So why don’t you tell him a little bit about Bandier Brit.

1 (46m 19s):
So it’s only about an hour away from Santa Fe and you might be thinking you already saw Mesa Verde National Park, why would you wanna continue on? But this was a different type of Cliff dwelling for sure. And it’s a national monument, so you do have to pay $25 for the entrance or use your America the beautiful path. But it’s free. That’s free. And it’s actually pretty popular, popular enough for them to have a shuttle system to take you there. So if you go between like nine and three between the high season, which is like May of September, you have to take the shuttle. You were there on a Monday, how busy was it? Well we got into the park before that time and so if you drive in before nine o’clock you can drive up and park.

1 (47m 1s):
When we were actually in the park, it was not busy at all, was a Monday and it was early,

3 (47m 6s):
But by the time even for Monday that we were leaving, couple shuttle buses came in and they were full. Mm. They were full. Wow.

1 (47m 13s):
And so we did a few trails, we did the alcove house trail and it took us past this village and a little bit different than Mesa Verde because this land is flat. But you can see where they built a village just kind of like in a meadow area, I’d say.

3 (47m 28s):
Right. And you can see the kivas even too. And again the kivas are the underground homes of where people actually slept. They designed them in such a way that they had natural airflow kept a consistent temperature year round. And even in that as mind blowing. But then you can see the remnants, like Britney said, at the actual building structures that are above ground and things like that. But again, that was in the meadow, but there are more Cliff Dwellings if you will. Again, not as ground as Mesa Verde built into the canyon edge that you’re walking right along.

1 (47m 58s):
And so they have three main ones on the, the trail that you can actually climb one ladder up and then just like sit in these Dwellings and like look out. Which was really cool. We had those all to ourselves. But the third one was closed. And this really makes me upset. It was closed because of vandalism.

3 (48m 15s):
Oh. Like the sign even said do not enter. And they had had it boarded up and like this is closed because somebody vandalized it, like protect our parking. They’re like, what the fuck is wrong with people?

2 (48m 25s):
That’s sick. You know, I’ve been wanting to go to Salita for the little baby turtle release and I’ve been seeing on their Instagram they’ve been posting, people are coming overnight and opening the boxes and destroying the nest. Like what the fuck is wrong with people.

1 (48m 39s):
Why? Like why? Why would people do those things? That’s so mean.

2 (48m 43s):
Like respect, nature, respect, animals, respect, history.

1 (48m 47s):
Yeah. So we couldn’t go into the third one, but then we had to do a long walk. And then the long Walk had these, what they had called also Long House, but we saw petroglyphs along the Cliff wall and then literally apartments carved into the cliffs as well. So you would see like a base layer where they’d have the little window doors and then on top of that they would have like another set of window doors. And they were like, these were like Ancient apartment styles. That’s so cool. That was really cool too. And then the highlight of the alcove house trail is the alcove house. And so this one, you have to climb up, you have to work for this one because it’s 140 feet above the canyon floor.

1 (49m 30s):
And so you literally, there’s lots of ladders, there’s lots of climbing up. I think there’s like four wooden ladders to get you up there. And so call

3 (49m 40s):
Ones too,

1 (49m 41s):
But, and they only let, I wanna say 15 people in that area at one time because the ladders can get congested. The little trail is like all along a Cliff edge. And so there’s like railing there, so it’s very tight. So you have to be careful as you’re walking that. But that was definitely the highlight of this trail. And when we got to the top, we had it all to ourselves. We had

3 (50m 3s):
It all to ourselves. And what’s unique about it is there’s a Kiva up there, there is a Kiva up there that’s pretty well intact and everything like that. And so it’s one of those things that are like, well, this is so high up compared to the rest of this. Was this like an outpost that people looked to see? Is anybody else coming? And what was unique about this area is, even though it’s like desert vibes and kind of like, yeah, you’re in New Mexico, you had a high enough elevation too, that this is a forested area. There’s even bears there. Like I wouldn’t think old bears New Mexico, we didn’t see any of course. But like it’s just a different environment and it’s really kind of impressive. But think about it, I mean 140 feet up, four ladders, how tall is each ladder to get yourself up like 140 feet to get to that area.

3 (50m 46s):
But really awesome experience at Bandier National Monument. I enjoyed it. If somebody’s not gonna make the far drive, if they’re in New Mexico, in the Albuquerque Santa Fe area to go all the way to Mesa Verde, I would say for sure take a half day and go to Bandier. This was really cool too.

1 (51m 3s):
There was a ranger on the at the bottom and he had pictures of what they think that the homes look like up in the alcove before they were destroyed naturally. And so it was really cool to see like what they think things look like back then and how they really use the structure. And the Kiva, they did reconstruct it, so it did have an intact roof.

2 (51m 22s):
I saw that on your picture. And so that was reconstructed.

1 (51m 25s):
It was reconstructed and they have the ladder that goes down, but we didn’t see that in Mesa Verde. All of the kivas that we saw were completely open. So we had a different perspective.

3 (51m 35s):
What I really liked too about this when we were at the Alcove house is the Ranger that Britney’s talking about what a unique kind of like story. And you can tell he was interested, invested in it, obviously, because he himself was Native American and a descendant of these people. So when we were at Mesa Verde and Britney was saying, oh, Nicole, obviously she’s not an Ancestral Puebloan descent, but like she had that passion. But then it was so exciting here at Bandier to see that passion of the Ranger who happened to actually be a descendant of these people.

1 (52m 8s):
Well, and they were also talking in in Mesa Verde and at Bandier that they were always meant to move and they were never meant to stay in one spot. And they thought that they were gonna go south towards the Rio Grande River. And so this was kind of like along that path. And so it could be descendants that were from the Mesa Verde eventually made it here and then continued south. I

2 (52m 31s):
Do look different though.

1 (52m 32s):
Yeah. And that,

2 (52m 33s):
But I guess

1 (52m 34s):
With time as well,

2 (52m 35s):
Time. And then you kind of adapt to the environment that you’re working with. But for how often they move, like they built really massive structures quickly

3 (52m 45s):
Thing. They’re invested in a spot for like a hundred, 150 years before they kind of like really move on. And you have maybe like four or five generations of that time that kind of go. But yeah, they, they were unsure then. That’s exactly what they said. People from Mesa Verde may have just been coming south and this was it. And they didn’t need to build it that grand because this area is in the middle of kind of a narrow canyon. So they were able to build it on the flatland. But obviously certain smaller structures that are just literally holes in the wall at that point of what they made as their Cliff Dwellings within Bandier. So

2 (53m 16s):
When we were at Mesa Verde, everyone kept saying real grande.

1 (53m 22s):
I know,

2 (53m 23s):
I thought it was real grande.

1 (53m 24s):
I thought it was Rio Grande too.

2 (53m 26s):
Have we been saying it wrong our whole lives?

3 (53m 28s):
No, it’s just however you wanna say it because I mean, it comes from Spanish. You say Grande in Spanish, right? So just I guess in English, just Rio Grande, you know, because sometimes in French, in other languages, when you have the E, like it’s silent. So it’s Rio Grande, you know, however you wanna say it. We’re not saying it. Well,

2 (53m 45s):
It, it was the Ranger. So I was like, okay. The Rangers wouldn’t be saying it inaccurately.

3 (53m 50s):
You could say however you want to say it. Technically Grande. Technically the non, the first non-native language in that area was Spanish. And that’s Rio Grande,

2 (53m 59s):
Who’s right? Way in on our Instagram poll.

3 (54m 2s):
But all in all, that was our trip. Kim. I’m disappointed you and Robin missed Bandelier’s portion, although

2 (54m 8s):
I am too, now that I’ve heard about it, I, I didn’t wanna take any PTOs, like I’m just gonna get back and I kind of wish I went to Santa Fe with y’all.

3 (54m 17s):
What now? Now you have an excuse to go to Santa Fe, spend a weekend and go to Bandier.

2 (54m 21s):
Yeah. Ooh. I have to time it for the hot air balloon situation. They have

3 (54m 25s):
Holiday for the best. What a good idea. What

1 (54m 27s):
Good idea. That would be a great weekend. Well, I think Kim, I think we’re your favorite part of the episode.

2 (54m 32s):
Woo. Question. Love the week. Question number one, how many days do you need to explore Mesa Verde?

1 (54m 47s):
I really think that this has a lot of different answers. If you’re just there for one day, you could do a few tours in a day and you could really get a feel for it. Again, we said if you’re only gonna do one tour, it’s gonna be the Balcony House tour. But if you want to stay for longer, you could spend a few days exploring different areas of the park. We were there for two really. It was more like one and a half I’d say, with the amount of time we actually spent in the park. And we felt like that was pretty sufficient for what we wanted to see and what we did. But everyone has different travel preferences. If you wanna do other tours, do other hikes, see other things you could spend more time in the park. Yeah.

2 (55m 24s):
And I think two days would be fine if you do two, try to do Cliff, Palace and Balcony House on the same day because they’re right next to each other in the parking lot. So that could help you be more efficient with your time if you can get those tours and beat out the rest of the people.

1 (55m 40s):
Question number two, can I just go to Mesa Verde and explore the Puebloan Dwellings myself? Or do I have to have a Ranger guided tour? We kind of hit on this earlier as we were talking, but most of them you do need a Ranger guided tour. We had briefly talked about Spruce House, I believe, and that one you were previously able to do a self-guided tour. However, I think they had some rock damage just naturally, and so they did close it off.

3 (56m 8s):
Yeah, and I was gonna say you, you cannot explore that one independently now, but the Dwellings that you really do want to do and want to see are the ones that are the Ranger guided. But there may be one or two where you can just kind of get in there, but they’re not gonna be the impressive ones. And again, one of the main ones, spruce Treehouse closed because of destruction to some degree of the rocks naturally falling. And it’s for your own safety to keep you out of there.

2 (56m 33s):
There are different viewpoints. There’s a lot of different viewpoints. So if you’re someone that is unable to do the ladders, some knee issues or too hot or you don’t want to, there’s still things you can see. So if you’re considering like do it or don’t

1 (56m 47s):
Do it. Yeah, I did hear from another park ranger when we were at actually a different national park. They said that they would think Mesa Verde National Park. It is one of the most photographic national parks in the US and I would have to agree, like it is very photogenic.

2 (57m 3s):
I took a lot of pictures and we will be posting all of those pictures on our website for every episode. We put up a blog post where we recap what we did. We have the whole transcript to the episode and all of the pictures from our trip. So just go to Travel Squad Podcast dot com slash episodes and you can find this one there when it comes out. All right, squaddies, thank you so much for tuning into our episode this week. Keep the adventures going with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, and tag us in your adventures.

3 (57m 31s):
If you found the information in this episode to be useful or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

1 (57m 46s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode. We have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

3 (57m 51s):
Bye Squadies!

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