This isn't a great shot of the balcony, but this cliff dwelling was named Balcony House because of the balcony that was built between the first and second floor. The openings served as doors and windows.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
The Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park
Last week on Maralee's overnight trip with her school, we were able to tour the Balcony House at Mesa Verde National Park. This is the only tour I had never been on in the park, so I was really excited to have this chance. On our past trips we had either ran out of time or the kids were too little for the tour because of the 32 foot ladder you have to climb. This is a park ranger guided tour. Our park ranger took a lot of time to teach the kids along the way. Like my dad, I've always thought being a park ranger would be a fascinating and fun job. First view of the 32 foot ladder. It doesn't look so bad. The kids (and parents) all did great climbing the ladder. Not only is this tall ladder part of the tour, it begins with a long staircase to get into the canyon, has a 12 foot long tunnel to get out of the Balcony House, then a 60 foot tall climb to get back out via ladders and climbing on stone steps up a rock wall. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, it can be pretty challenging and fun! It's small price to pay to see this amazing home built by Ancestral Puebloans before the year A.D. 1300.