If you're thinking of visiting Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado yet this year, here's some good news: the park's Far View Lodge has extended its season by a week through October 25.
“The weather is so beautiful at Mesa Verde in the fall. By extending our season, more visitors will be able to enjoy all that the park has to offer,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of operations for Aramark’s Leisure division. “Not only is the park quieter and more peaceful this time of year, but the fall colors and cooler weather makes October the perfect time to visit.”
One of only 21 UNESCO Heritage Sites in the United States, Mesa Verde National Park is known for its rich history and outdoor adventure, including more than 600 cliff dwellings. A visit here offers you some insights into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloan people. In addition to tours of the major archaeological and cultural sites, the setting offers a spectacular array of fall colors in a distinctive Southwestern setting of sagebrush, juniper and Gambel oak trees interspersed with sandstone. October is also the perfect time of year to visit in order to avoid the summer crowds at Mesa Verde and fall crowds that flock to Aspen and Durango.
Besides the park’s beautiful trails and archeological tours, another way to experience the area, is to take one of the many picturesque drives. San Juan Skyway, a 233-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains, is part of Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byway System and only 16 miles from the Park and Far View Lodge. Additionally, Trail of the Ancients, America’s only National Scenic Byway dedicated solely to archaeology, includes Mesa Verde National Park and highlights the archaeological and cultural history of southwestern Native American peoples.
Far View Lodge, the only lodge within the national park's borders, offers traditional Western décor, fantastic views along with warm hospitality and dining options. Aside from the quiet and privacy the lodge provides, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, wildlife watching and stargazing from their own balcony through Oct. 25. While the Morefield Campground store and RV camping sites will close on Oct. 11, the tent camping sites will remain open through Nov. 1 for those looking to connect more closely with nature.