MVF Projects // Visitor Experience

Visitor Experience



Mesa Verde has a magnificent story to tell.

From the cliff dwellings that housed the Ancestral Puebloans for centuries, to the verdant and diverse wildlife that covers the expanse of the park, there are literally thousands of learning opportunities waiting for visitors when they arrive on park grounds.

With annual visitor rates nearly double that of their original volume, the original Far View Visitor Center, located 15 winding miles from the park entrance, could no longer accommodate the increasing visitor traffic to the park, especially during the summer season.

In order to respond to the needs of park visitors, and to ensure the continued legacy of Mesa Verde’s cultural and natural offerings, Mesa Verde Foundation worked with the National Park Service and Department of Interior for 13 years in an effort to plan, fund, design and build a brand new visitor center that would be visible from the park’s main entrance to entice visitors from the highway.

What we accomplished together is nothing short of amazing.

Visitor_Center_Ppl_Outside.pngThe new Visitor and Research Center is architecturally respectful of the Ancestral Puebloans and the early National Park Service presence. The building itself is set within a native habitat, and meets the highest possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards (LEED©), as developed by the U.S. Green Building Initiative.

Built against the backdrop of Point Lookout, it reflects a strong connection to nature and the importance of the cardinal directions, the earth and the symboism of the circle.

The Center welcomes visitors to the world of the Ancestral Puebloan people, preparing and educating them for their experience in the Park with ticket sales for archeological site visits, educational facilities, a bookstore, exhibit displays, and views into research labs and the vast archeological collections. The curatorial area is ideally suited to the needs of researchers, tribal members and students.

In this new facility, park staff and volunteers are able to:
  • welcome visitors
  • educate them about Mesa Verde
  • help them prepare for their visit by providing information about available tours
  • provide information about weather conditions in the park

Benefits of the new Visitor and Research Center:
  • It is an appropriately located visitor center designed to accommodate present and future visitor volume
  • It features a state-of-the-art storage facility for Mesa Verde's priceless archeological collection
  • Visitors can now gain important information about available tours and activities as soon as they enter the park

Read the article about the Visitor and Research Center's LEED© status: New Visitor and Research Center Powered by Sustainable Energy
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