We went back to Mesa Verde National Park for our third ranger guided hike and then we visited one of the ruins that you can go around by yourself.
It turned out that today was kind of redundant after yesterday. After a few, the ruins just all seem the same.
The ranger hike to the Long House Ruin was to start a 11 am in a different section of the park than yesterday called Wetherhill Mesa. To get there you take an even longer, even more twisty road. It splits of from the main road and runs along a ridge at about 8000 feet.
An interesting switchback turn with a far off view.
At the end of the road you park your car and then you must take a tram that runs around a loop to the various sites.
It was another very busy tour because we also had some of the people that had missed getting there for the 10 am version.
This ranger sure liked to talk and was not really very good at it. Because this site is a bit out of the way, most of the people had already done the other two hikes. We had already heard a lot of the information and she kept going on as to how the Puebloans were close to nature (of course).
Eventually we headed down into the canyon which was pretty easy. Just a set of stairs and a few switchback on a paved path.
Another talk here while everyone took turns getting this picture.
This time we got to climb up into the alcove to get much closer to the ruins.
Jennie is getting used to the ladders. She zipped up them with no help at all.
Then we had to sit and listen to another talk. This one went on way too long. All everybody wanted to do was wander around, check the place out and take pictures. By the time she was done talking we really didn’t have enough time left.
Two ravens were competing with her.
Back up we go.
We took the tram around the rest of the loop. There were some more ruins and a trail you could hike but we just got off at two of the lookouts. The tram would wait while everybody had a short look, which is all you really need.
First was Kodak House.
Last was an overlook back down to Long House.
The path of our hike.
By now it was around 1 pm. We had lunch in the car because the wind was blowing like mad up here. It was almost hard to walk into it.
We drove back to the main part of the park to go to the one ruin that you could explore on your own.
Another viewpoint on the road back.
Spruce Tree House is just a short walk down the hill from the visitor’s center and museum.
Yesterday I had commented on how large and empty the parking lot was. It was almost full today. If you can’t get on a tour, you come here.
There were several rangers to answer questions and to make sure everyone behaved.
One interesting things was that they had a kiva with a roof one it that you could climb into.
Heading back up and then home.