Mesa Verde – Spruce Tree House

This is not a tree house, it is a cliff dwelling located near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum in Mesa Verde National Park.  Normally this cliff dwelling would be open for self-guided tours, however the Park has signs up that due to “Rock Fall Hazards” the trail to the dwelling is closed.  Given the unfortunate events at Yosemite National Park in California over the last few days (a tourist killed and several others injured by falling rocks) the Park Service isn’t taking any chances.

There is a parking area off the main road and there are several buildings including a gift shop and snack shop (where I had a great lunch at a reasonable price) and the Archeological Museum.  The photos below were taken from behind the museum, at an overlook which allowed me to view and photograph the dwelling without actually going over to it.  It was maybe 200-300 feet away.

The Spruce Tree House consists of 130 rooms and 8 kivas (the round, largely ceremonial areas).  It is believed to have housed as many as 25 families of Ancient Pueblo People.  That seems to be a general classification for people before Indians began establishing tribes.  One-level cliff dwellings soon gave way to multi-level dwellings and eventually multi-story dwellings like this one.

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And since I couldn’t go see the dwelling up close I used the digital camera to zoom in and get some close-up shots:

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And zoomed in even a little closer of some specific areas to try and show some of the detail:

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