On a recent gorgeous blue sky day, we drove west of Durango to Mesa Verde. It’s only 30 minutes away and we try to go at least three times a year. On this trip, besides seeing the spectacular cliff dwellings, we spent a romantic night dining at the Metate Room and staying overnight at Far View Lodge.
Driving up into Mesa Verde is stunning. A gentle winding road, climbing the mesa until you feel like you are on top of the world. Stopping at an overlook, you view the Montezuma County and Mancos valley, with the snow capped La Plata Mountains in the distance. Breathtaking!
Arriving at Far View Lodge (located in the center of the park) you are greeted with 360 degrees scenic views, huge ever-changing skies, textured landscapes and flat mesa tops and canyons.
And after a courteous and helpful checkin, we made our way to our room … each unique and all with more spectacular scenery. We could see as far as mountains in New Mexico..
After settling in, we headed off to explore the beauty and awe inspiring cliff dwellings, one of our favorites being Cliff Palace. The size and craftsmanship of the stone work is impressive. To recognize how they built into alcoves high on a sheer cliff, it’s hard to imagine how the Ancestral Puebloans created this masterpiece. Here’s a video of the walk to Cliff Palace overlook …
Note: at the time of our visit, Cliff Palace was closed for touring, and this overlook was open. Check the park website for updates on restoration closings of certain dwellings.
After a wonderful day leisurely driving in the park, taking in all the sites, the museum, and seeing a deer or wild mustang through the bushes, we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner. The Metate Room is an award winning dining experience. The food is prepared with a unique menu inspired by local ingredients, and a view that can’t be topped. In fact, people from all around drive into Mesa Verde just to dine at the Metate Room.
We had a perfect window seat, and enjoyed a delicious dinner of warm bread with chile pepper olive oil for dipping, a pickled strawberry salad, bone-in center cut pork chop with pomegranate demi glaze, parsnip puree and roasted vegetables for Mr.D, and a 6oz petite filet with sautéed Brussel sprouts, caramelized shallot and corn butter for Amy. After dinner, we made our way to the top floor lounge and enjoyed a cocktail while taking in a beautiful evening sky from the rooftop deck. Such a treat to tour the dwellings in the footsteps of an ancient civilization, then end the evening with a fine dining date and starlit night.
As ever, it was a spectacular weekend. Seems we make a new discovery each year. If Mesa Verde isn’t already on your bucket list, we urge you to add it today!
Wishing you Happy Discoveries!
Amy and Mr.D
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