Mesa Verde National Park has been named Best Cultural Attraction by Sunset magazine, the premier guide to living and traveling in the West. As the park’s concessioner, Aramark is proud to provide the hospitality, interpretive and educational services which all contributed to this recognition.
“We’re delighted that Mesa Verde National Park has been honored as the best cultural attraction in the West,” said Bruce W. Fears, president of Aramark’s Leisure division. “The park offers a unique combination of rich history, natural beauty and outdoor adventure for visitors to enjoy.”
The 700 Years Tour, operated by Aramark, is a chronological journey through the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans. The tour provides the ideal way to experience this award-winning cultural destination.
“We are thrilled to be named the Best Cultural Attraction in the West by such a prestigious and highly regarded news source,” said Cliff Spencer, superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park. “In conjunction with our partner, Aramark, we strive to provide unforgettable experiences to park visitors, offering an opportunity to explore the most notable and best preserved archaeological sites in the US.”
In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt established Mesa Verde National Park as the first National Park created to “preserve the works of man.” The park contains the archaeological sites built by the Ancestral Pueblo people, who inhabited Mesa Verde from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D. Mesa Verde is home to over 5,000 historic archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings. The 700 Years Tour provides a historical view of the Puebloans including the architectural, horticultural, cultural and religious aspects of their lives. Guests enjoy a chronological journey, starting with the earliest recorded Pithouse villages and moving to the classic Pueblo era cliff dwellings. Cliff Palace, which at 150 rooms is the largest cliff dwelling in North America, is a must see destination.
Tours of Mesa Verde National Park depart from Far View Lodge, the only lodging destination in the park, and include a four hour guided tour, short hikes to archaeological sites and a walking tour of Cliff Palace. In addition to the tours, there are a variety of great hiking trails for the novice or experienced hiker. Wildlife watching is also plentiful with an opportunity to spot mule deer, turkeys, coyote, gray fox, black bear, elk, marmot, or even a porcupine. At night, stargazing is a popular pastime. Since there are no large cities in the Four Corners region, there is very little artificial light to detract from seeing the stars.