Mesa Verde National Park is ringing in the holidays with a special Luminaria tribute to the snowy season at the Spruce Tree House ancestral pueblo. The entire site will be alit by candles, many in paper bags or other ambient containers for a day of celebration on December 8, 2011. Park fees will be waived after 4 pm to encourage guest participation in this holiday celebration. Entertainment will be ongoing at the Chapin Mesa Auditorium, the Chief Ranger's Office Balcony and the Spruce Tree House itself starting at 5 pm. The entertainment will be in the spirit of the holidays combined with a Native American element featuring traditional Native American flute, drums and chant; a holiday flute choir; and a folk rock band. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Aramark. Don’t miss the special evening guided tours until 7:30 pm and self-guided tours until 9 pm of the enchanted glowing Spruce Tree House site.
Spruce Tree House is the only archeological pueblo site in Mesa Verde National Park that remains open for guided tours during the winter. The Spruce Tree Terrace also remains open as well as the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Winter guests can also explore on their own to several other archeological sites on the Cliff Palace Loop Road, Petroglyph Point Trail and Far View Sites Complex Trail by way of snow-shoes, skis or on foot. The Mesa Top Loop Road, although snow-covered, can be driven in your vehicle and features several short paved trails to easily accessed sites or overlooks.
The Far View Lodge is closed for the winter season, but don't despair, there are other great Mesa Verde lodges available. Check out the Sundance Bear Lodge or the Willowtail Springs Lodge, each just a few miles from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park.
Mesa Verde National Park Luminaria photo courtesy of Aramark
There are similarities in the Sundance Bear Lodge and Willowtail Springs, as well as differences. Both of these Mesa Verde lodging properties are located just outside of Mancos, CO on beautiful acreages. The Sundance Bear Lodge rests on 80 acres while Willowtail Springs is situated on 60 acres. Both of these intimate lodging facilities encourage guests to explore the property, including on snow-shoes or cross-country skis. Willowtail Springs and the Sundance Bear Lodge are conveniently close to Mesa Verde National Park with a 10-15 minute drive depending on weather conditions. This is winter, after-all, snowy conditions will slow you down a tad.
Sundance Bear Lodge has winter specials with reduced nightly rates and awesome weekly rates. Choose from the Main Lodge B&B style rooms that include breakfast, the Log Cabin or the Guest House that has two adjoining units or rent them both together. Breakfast is not provided in the Cabin or Guests House but both include kitchens. If you have a large group with less than 20 people, rent the whole place!
Willowtail Springs offers three quaint lakefront cabins on their very own private lake. Winter discounts are available for two-week stays and longer. Willowtail Springs boasts Tai Chi sessions as well as massages, photography sessions, limousine service and catered private dinners. Enjoy the peace and quiet while you work on your literary masterpiece!
Call National Park Reservations to secure your slice of heaven for your winter visit to Mesa Verde National Park. Willowtail Springs and The Sundance Bear Lodge, although not affiliated with each other, both offer luxurious and private Mesa Verde accommodations for you and your group all year long.