Mesa Verde: Square Tower House at Sunset

November 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Square Tower House Setting, Navajo Canyon, Mesa VerdeSquare Tower House Setting, Navajo Canyon, Mesa VerdeThe Square Tower House site in Mesa Verde National Park has the park's tallest structure. Built in a Navajo Canyon alcove just underneath the rim of the mesa, the community was only accessible by hand and toe hold steps pecked out of an adjacent cliff face. Image No. 2017_CO-5398-Pano. Copyright © Stephen J. Krieg / Stephen Krieg Photography

Square Tower House is the name of an Ancestral Puebloan archaeological "ruin" site in Mesa Verde National Park. In addition to being located in an intriguing alcove cut by erosion from the sandstone layer capping the mesa, it has the tallest surviving pueblo structure within the park. The "tower", that is. Though it is not a true tower, because it did not stand alone when the village was in use. It had an adjoining structure or two, which is equally fascinating to consider.

Looking down onto the site, one naturally wonders: how do you get down there? Simple: the ancient ones had pecked hand and toe hold steps (if you could be so generous as to call them that) down an adjacent cliff face.

The overlook is a short walk from the parking area along the Mesa Top Loop drive in Mesa Verde. On this particular autumn evening I was delighted to see the sun so far south that it lit up the alcove with bright afternoon light.

Nice, but what I was waiting for even more was the warm rays just before sunset. I was not disappointed.

Square Tower House at Sunset, Mesa Verde National ParkSquare Tower House at Sunset, Mesa Verde National ParkA late October sunset glow lights up the alcove housing the Square Tower House site, from the Mesa Top Loop road in Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado.

Image No. 2017_CO-5491-Pano. Copyright © Stephen J. Krieg / Stephen Krieg Photography.

Photo location: Mesa Verde National Park, Montezuma County, southwest Colorado.

© Copyright 2017 Stephen J. Krieg / Stephen Krieg Photography


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