In second grade, my husband saw a picture of Mesa Verde in his history textbook. The image and information intrigued him. His fascination never ended.
The images of the cliff dwellings stayed with him so that when he heard we were going out west, he immediately asked if we would be close to Mesa Verde.
Of course, we made it happen.
And he was able to see the textbook pictures come to life before his very eyes: Cliff Palace.
You are not allowed into Cliff Palace (or Balcony House) unless you sign up for a Ranger-led tour. We were eager to descend into the Cliff Palace area, so we grabbed tickets to the earliest tour, which was noon.
There was a bit of a descent.
And then we were there.
There was ample opportunity to take in the scene. The ruins were tremendous and in amazing condition.
Our group gathered on the far side of the houses for a discussion about the people who lived here and their history.
Our tour guide, Ranger David Knighteagle, is a Native American. He also makes traditional Native American flutes. He brought one of his handmade flutes on our tour of Cliff Palace to play a song for the spirits of his ancestors.
It was a beautiful tradition and we were able to be a part of his spiritual moment as the flute echoed around the Cliff Palace.
Of course, there was a climb out of the Cliff Palace area.
This was our final big destination on our trip out west.
Mesa Verde was just one of many great stops on our trip out west. We visited Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion, and Arches.
After our trip, I created a guide that includes everything I learned to help other families plan their own ideal vacation out west.
For just $4.99 you will have all of the details that you need about popular destinations out west including the Painted Desert, the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Mesa Verde, and more.
You can read more here or if you are ready, you can grab your guide.