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Mesa Verde

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We're calling this a dual-sport trip because some of our destinations only required pavement driving. Mesa Verde National Park was the first major destination. Cliff dwellings are not endemic to Mesa Verde National Park or to the American Southwest, but Mesa Verde is nevertheless home to the largest and best preserved cliff dwellings in the USA. Cliff Palace, the largest of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, was first spotted by white settlers in 1888 when two cowboys, Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason, happened across it while searching for lost cattle. Mesa Verde National Park was designated as such in 1906, thereby preserving the cliff dwellings from vandalism and misuse.