mesa colorado

At a quick glance, you might miss the ancient cliff dwellings that blend effortlessly into the sheltered alcove of the canyon wall at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. These elaborate stone communities contained as many as 150 rooms, some of which still feature smoke-blackened walls and ceilings from fires that burned during cold winter months. The park protects nearly 5,000 archeological sites, inspiring visitors to imagine what life was like over 700 years ago. Photo courtesy of Chris Wheeler.