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Far View Sites, COPrint Full | Basic
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Description 6 Triplogs 0 Topics
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 Southwest, CO
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
Difficulty 0.5    Route Finding
Distance Round Trip 0.53 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,688 feet
Elevation Gain 5 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 0.56
Interest Ruins
Rob del Desierto
Descriptions 128
Routes 91
Photos 4,912
Trips 890 map ( 1,975 miles )
Age 33
Location Casa Grande, Az.
Photos
Rated Viewed All Mine Friends
7  2012-07-21 leannrasmussen
4  2011-09-08 Patrick L
5  2010-06-11 Rob del Desierto
Large Profile
Trailhead Forecast
Historical Weather
Radar
NPS Mesa Verde NP
Backpack - No
Seasons - Late Spring to Late Summer
Route
 
Alternative Routes
 
Water
Nearby Hikes Area Water Sources
direct air miles away to trailhead
2.9  Cedar Tree Tower/Farming Terrace Trail
3.4  Step House
3.4  Long House
3.4  Nordenskiold Site #16
3.7  Mesa Verde National Park Trails
3.7  Spruce Tree House
[ View More! ]
Culture
   Mesa Verde Anasazi Dwelling
   Mesa Verde Anasazi Kiva
Space
Fauna
     Rock Squirrel
Space
Flora
     Caliche Globemallow
Space

Great surface ruins at Mesa Verde NP
by Rob del Desierto

Mobile Version
Mesa Verde National Park, located in southwestern Colorado, is one of America's most famous national parks, and is known the world over for its famous cliff dwellings like Spruce Tree House and Cliff Palace. What most people don't realize until they reach Mesa Verde is that the surface of the mesa was covered in dwellings, some much older than the cliff dwellings, some the same age as the cliff dwellings. Several hundred people were living on top of the spurs of Mesa Verde, above its deep canyons. One great place to see these dwellings, and one of the places with the highest prehistoric population density, is at the Far View complex of sites.

From the Mesa Verde NPS: Far View was one of the most densely populated parts of the mesa from A.D. 900 to about A.D. 1300. Nearly 50 villages have been identified within a half square mile area, and were home to hundreds of people. Today, several excavated and stabilized sites are linked by a trail system within a short walking distance. These surface sites include Far View House, Pipe Shrine House, Coyote Village, Far View Reservoir, Megalithic House, and Far View Tower.

Ancestral Puebloans were living at Far View at least 200 years before they began building the more famous Mesa Verde cliff dwellings. Excavation also reveals that many Ancestral Puebloans chose to remain in their mesa top community well after many of their neighbors moved into the cliff alcoves.


From the parking area the obvious ruin in front of you is Far View House. This makes a good starting point, so take your time exploring the perimeter of this site. Note the stonework in the walls, and contrast that with the fine tabular sandstone work of Chacoan masonry, and the cruder Kayenta-branch construction that relies heavily on jacal techniques. Far View House is one of the largest of the Far View sites.

To the south across what was probably a large communal plaza is Pipe Shrine House. While Far View House is aligned to the cardinal directions and has several kivas, Pipe Shrine House is angled and only has one kiva. Why?

Head back towards the parking area. Another trail branches off to the south, and this will take you through the pinon-ponderosa forest to Coyote Village. Like Far View House, Coyote Village is squared to the cardinal directions. It is larger than Pipe Shrine House, but smaller than Far View House. It also has multiple kivas, but they are all smaller than Pipe Shrine's single kiva, or the largest of Far View's kivas. Why?

Head back towards the parking area on the same trail. On the north side of the parking area another trail takes off, heading towards Far View Reservoir and Far View Tower. Neither of these sites were habitation sites; the reservoir trapped rainwater and runoff to allow for consistent watering of crops. For more insight into the farming practices of the Mesa Verde Anasazi, see the nearby Cedar Tree Tower/Farming Terrace Trail. The towers of Mesa Verde, and elsewhere across the region, are slightly mysterious. Some speculate that they were used as methods of communication, while others, pointing out their close association with kivas, suggest a ceremonial role. The truth will likely remain hidden for some time, and may in fact be some blending of the two.

When you have seen all the sites at the Far View Complex, return to your vehicle and continue your tour of Mesa Verde.

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    Directions Preferred Months May Jun Jul Aug
    Water / Source:None
    Preferred StartAny Cell Phone Signal~Light Sunrise7:01am Sunset4:59pm
    Road / VehiclePaved - Car Okay
    Fees / Permit
    NPS

    National Park
    $10-15 per vehicle (depends on season) good for 7 days Permit Information

    Directions
    Print Version
    To hike
    From Cortez, Colorado, drive east on US160 until reaching the signed exit for Mesa Verde National Park. Pay the entrance fee and proceed up the winding road that leads to the top of Mesa Verde. Past the Far View Visitor's Center along the ruins road there will be a sign on the east side of the road marked "Far View Sites." This should be the first left you can make after passing the Visitor's Center. Turn into this area and park in the parking area.
    Login for Mapped Driving Directions
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
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