Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park: Protecting the Culture of Ancient Native Americans

May 13, 2011, 8:37 am

It was cold that day in eighteen eighty-eight in southwestern Colorado. Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law were trying to find some missing cattle. They were up on Mesa Verde. Spanish explorers had named the area. The high, flat mountaintop is covered with many green juniper and pinon pine trees. It looks like a huge green table, which is “mesa verde” in Spanish.

The two men came to the edge of a deep canyon. Through the falling snow, they saw what looked like a small city across the canyon. It was suspended in the middle of the rock wall. There were many connected rooms built into a natural opening in the rock.

They named the ruins Cliff Palace. In the next few days, they found two more large ruins. They named one Spruce Tree House. They named the other Square Tower House.