Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado Offers Free Winter Ecology Hike

Thursday, January 02 2014 22:12   Winter Fun
Park rangers on Jan. 11, 2014 will be leading a guided hike exploring the amazing ways that animals and plants survive in the cold winter environment of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

The hike will tour the winter habitats of plants and animals in the Morefield Campground Area on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. The guided hike is free, but advance sign-up is required. Children should be at least 7 years old to join the hike, rangers said.

spruce_tree_houseParticipants will meet at the Morefield Village parking lot located four miles from the park entrance and then explore the area around Morefield Campground, looking for signs of wildlife and observing adaptations of plants and animals in the winter months.

Visitors are told to be prepared to be outdoors for two to three hours with extra layers of clothing, water, and snacks. There is a limit of 20 adults and children. If needed, snowshoes will be provided, or you may bring your own.

To sign up, for weather conditions, and for more information on the hike, please call the Chapin Mesa Museum at (970) 529-4631. Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado.

The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

For more information about Mesa Verde National Park, visit the park's website at


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