Colorado April 01, 2016
12 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Mesa Verde In Colorado
The results are in: According to several entertainment and review sites, the historic Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County is the most popular attraction in Colorado. You obviously know that the dwellings are old and well preserved, but did you know these 12 other fascinating things?
1. Even though the sites were originally created around the end of the 12th-century, Mesa Verde was not designated a National Park until 1906.
2. Mesa Verde National Park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in order to properly preserve the dwellings.
3. The park covers a whopping 52,485 acres (or 81.4 square miles).
4. One of the most recognizable dwellings is Cliff Palace, which is thought to date back more than 700 years and to have once been painted bright colors.
5. Mesa Verde has seen (and survived) its fair share of wildfires, with the latest being in 2003.
6. The area was named Mesa Verde (meaning "Green Table") because of the lush juniper trees and various foliage in the area.
7. The elevation of the park varies from 6,000 to 8,572 feet. It is said that the Ancestral Puebloan relied on rain and winter snow as their water source.
8. Mesa Verde has more than 4,300 sites and, believe it or not, there are still more to be discovered.
9. Mesa Verde became a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site in 1978.
10. The Ancestral Puebloan grew sustainable farms, hunted local venison, and created high-quality pottery and baskets (pictured).
11. Why did the Puebloans work so hard to create their cliff dwellings? It's because the dwellings provided protection against invading groups through the absence of ground-floor doors and windows.
12. Between 1906-2011, an estimated 572,329 people are said to have visited the park.
How many of these facts did you already know?