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Looking for a fun vacation just outside of Utah? Visiting Mesa Verde National Park with kids offers a unique opportunity to delve into the rich history of the ancestral Puebloan people while immersing oneself in breathtaking natural landscapes. The Balcony House tour, in particular, provides an adventurous and educational experience that captivates both children and adults alike.
The journey to Balcony House begins with a scenic drive through Mesa Verde’s stunning landscapes. The park’s towering cliffs and sweeping vistas set the stage for an awe-inspiring adventure. Upon arrival, families are greeted by knowledgeable park rangers who guide visitors through the tour with enthusiasm and a wealth of information.
The Balcony House tour is an immersive exploration of the ancient cliff dwellings that once served as a thriving community for the ancestral Puebloans. Led by the experienced rangers, people embark on a moderate hike along rugged terrain, adding an element of excitement and adventure to the experience. The trail’s twists and turns heighten anticipation as visitors approach the entrance of Balcony House.
The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly stepping into Balcony House itself. The sheer scale and architectural ingenuity of the cliff dwellings leave both children and adults in awe. Navigating narrow passageways, climbing ladders, and descending stone steps provide an interactive experience that brings history to life. The rangers’ informative narration adds depth to the visit, explaining the daily life and cultural significance of the ancestral Puebloan people.
For kids, exploring the ancient dwellings is akin to a real-life treasure hunt. They are thrilled by the chance to discover hidden rooms, admire ancient artifacts, and witness firsthand the incredible craftsmanship of the Puebloans. The excitement and sense of wonder in their eyes make the Balcony House tour an unforgettable experience for the entire family.
It is worth noting, however, that due to the nature of the site, the tour may not be suitable for very young children or those with mobility limitations. Some passages and ladders require agility and a certain level of physical fitness. Parents should assess their children’s abilities and comfort levels before embarking on the tour.
They ask that when climbing ladders that children are able to climb without assistance. If they are small enough to be in a backpack carrier that is ideal. Our two year old did both – for one ladder she was sleeping so I carried her on my back, for the second ladder she was awake and climbed herself (and was quite proud). One thing to note if you do wear a backpack carrier, there were two places where I had to take it off and push it through because it was too big to fit through on my back.
As with any outdoor adventure, it is important to come prepared. Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water are essential for an enjoyable experience. Mesa Verde National Park provides ample picnic areas, so packing a lunch and enjoying a scenic family meal is highly recommended.
In conclusion, visiting Mesa Verde National Park with kids and embarking on the Balcony House tour is a truly remarkable experience. It offers a unique blend of adventure, education, and natural beauty that will leave a lasting impression on young minds. Exploring the cliff dwellings of Balcony House provides a tangible connection to the ancestral Puebloan people, igniting a sense of wonder and appreciation for the rich cultural heritage that Mesa Verde National Park preserves.
June 6, 2023