Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

The Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas (ceremonial chambers) and had a population of around 100 people. One dwelling is particularly large suggesting that the Palace was a social , administrative site possibly with high ceremonial usage.

[View Cliff Palace Photo Gallery]

The Long House was nearly as large as the Cliff Palace and, with smaller rooms, may have been home to 150 to 175 people. There was a formal plaza, perhaps for both civic and ceremonial functions.

[View Long House Photo Gallery]

The Spruce Tree House had about 130 rooms and 8 kivas and probably housed 60 to 80 people. It is the best preserved of the cliff dwellings with less reconstruction work than elsewhere. We were able to wander around it but since 2015 it has been closed to the public due to rock falls. Touring the Balcony House includes climbing a 32 foot ladder. It had 38 rooms and probably housed up to 38 people. The Square Tower House is four stories high, the tallest structure at Mesa Verde. Oak Tree house is a 60 room site but tours are not always available.

[View Spruce Tree and other Houses Photo Gallery]

[Back – Mesa Verde Introduction]    [Next – Moab: Arches & Canyons]