The Far View Sites are located on Chapin Mesa just a short distance past the Far View Lodge. The Far View Pueblo Complex sits on top of the mesa and the hiking paths are on fairly level ground, so touring this area is like taking a walk in a park. The paths are also paved, so those who have mobility challenges can tour this ancient native heritage site with ease. Far View has been occupied since long before the Mesa Verde pueblo builders came to fruition, so this sacred place has many stories to tell.
The Far View Sites are composed of several individual buildings that were constructed over a long period of time. Over 50 individual villages were located in this small area, so eventually a master plan was developed that included infrastructure. There are dozens upon dozens of living quarters, food preparation spaces, artisan rooms, storage rooms and kivas in this pueblo complex, so a sizable population once called this place home.
Many of the Far View structures are agriculturally oriented because this site is located on a lush green mesa top that has been farmed since prehistoric times. In order to increase sustainability, a very large water reservoir was constructed next to the Far View Pueblo Complex, which truly is a must to experience in person. Far View was also a place of great cultural significance, because ceremonial structures exist at this site. Astronomical functions were incorporated into the building designs and a solar calendar is located in the Pipe Shrine House. This astronomical device is similar to the one found at the Fajada Butte Solar Calendar in Chaco Canyon, which uses the sunlight shadow to determine the time of the seasons. This goes to show just how far advanced the ancient Mesa Verde Culture was about a thousand years ago!
The Far View Sites are composed of the Far View House, Far View Tower, Coyote Village, Pipe Shrine House, Megalithic House and the Far View Reservoir. The Megalithic House is the only ancient site that is sheltered in a metal building and this is the only place where shade can be found on a hot day. Mesa Verde is a very high elevation environment, so be sure to hydrate often to prevent dizzy spells. The effort will be well worthwhile, because no tour of Mesa Verde National Park would be complete without experiencing the long history of Far View!
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