-- Ski, snowshoe or take a nature walk in Colorado's scenic southwest --
-- There's an antidote for winter in the city: Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park. A quiet wonderland awaits those wishing to experience the ancient communities of the Ancestral Puebloans, learn about winter wildlife, or just explore Mesa Verde's mesas and canyons under blue skies and winter sunshine.
Here are just a few ways to enjoy Mesa Verde during the winter:
Archaeology: Although many of the park's famous cliff dwellings are closed for touring during the winter, the short Mesa Top Loop Road auto tour offers views of 700 years of Mesa Verde history from cliff dwelling overlooks. Ranger-guided tours are available of Spruce Tree House, and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum remains open throughout the season. Winter visitors to nearby Hovenweep National Monument may even find themselves the only ones around while exploring that park's trails and pueblos.
Holiday in the Park: Each year in December, Mesa Verde National Park throws open its gates for the Luminaria Open House. Visitors are treated to local entertainment, refreshments, and nighttime tours of Spruce Tree House. The 2012 Open House will be held on December 6.
Hike, ski, snowshoe: Most the Park's trails system remains open during the winter for hiking. Once an appreciable amount of show has fallen, 21 miles of trails on four trails are groomed for Nordic skiing. Snowshoeing is permitted on all un-groomed trails and the skate portion of groomed trails.
Special guided tours: Winter offers a different perspective on the natural history of the park. Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan Mountains Association, and the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society have prepared a program of guided walks about the winter life of the plants and animals in the area. Visitors will learn how plants and animals adapt for winter, identify animal tracks and signs, and spot plants in their winter states. A special series of Discovery Walks are designed for children ages 4-10 and their parents.
About Mesa Verde Country®
Mesa Verde Country® is the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. Visitors to the area will find â along with the park â two national scenic byways, one national forest, two national monuments, one tribal park and the largest archaeological reserve in the United States. The towns of Cortez, Dolores, and Mancos, and the entire Mesa Verde Country® area comprise the archaeological center of America.
Contacts: Lynn Dyer, Mesa Verde Country® Visitor Information Bureau, 800-530-2998, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gaylene Ore, Ore Communications, 970-887-2536, email@example.com