Colorado – summer 2022

Tuesday, July 26 (part 1)

Today was the best day of the vacation so far! Shout out to Ralph for an awesome breakfast at the Fairfield Inn in Durango. Ralph is just a kind and caring individual, and his main goal in life is to make the guests of the hotel enjoy their stay that much more. He goes out of his way to be accommodating to every guest and is especially great with kids. Plus he makes a mean salmon avocado toast!

After breakfast, we returned to Mesa Verde to continue our exploration of the park. We picked out three hikes, thinking we would probably do two, and having spent the day in the park on Monday, I really felt like I had my bearings down and was oriented to the park that much more. The first hike was a return to Petroglyph Point, which is the sister trail to Spruce Canyon.

Trailhead for Petroglyph Point and Spruce Canyon
Spruce Tree House from above the trailheads

Petroglyph Point Trail is really cool. There are some scrambles and some narrow passageways in between rocks and boulders. It’s not necessarily difficult, but there are a few points, especially toward the end, where you can feel your heart racing. For the most part, it’s a little bit of up-and-down, and you are hiking along the canyon wall, with steep drops off to your right and the cliff side on your left. The goal, which is at the end of the first half of the loop, is the petroglyph wall.

A narrow passageway where you might lose an arm…
Careful going through…
Almost there…
Made it!
Hiking to the Petroglyphs
Looking back across the canyon toward the museum
So many nooks and crannies and places to explore…
Finding daylight within the rocks
Ancient ruins protected within the cliffs
The petroglyphs!
Another angle
Do Not Touch!

After a short scramble up above the petroglyphs, we were on the rim trail ready to head back towards the museum.

The Petroglyph wall from above
Views of the canyon from the rim
Evidence of fire as we approach the museum
Spruce Tree House information by the Ranger Station

As we finished this hike, we hoped to do one more for the day, but sadly had to leave the Chapin Mesa area to work our way back north. Knifes Edge Trail or Mesa Verde Point Lookout Trail was next!


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