Fire Temple and New Fire House are two of the great house cliff dwelling pueblos that Mesa Verde is famous for. These two ancient abodes are just a small example of the diverse building styles in this National Park and well over 100 more pueblo sites can be found in the canyons of the neighboring Southern Ute protected tribal lands. Fire Temple and New Fire House can be viewed from a park overlook that faces the opposing canyon wall near the majestic Cliff Palace, which is one of the largest ancient cliff dwelling complexes of them all.
Just like with many of the other canyon rim overlooks, a powerful camera lens or binoculars will be needed to see the finer details of the distant Fire Temple and New Fire House, which are located side by side a few hundred yards away. This highly protected area is closed to foot traffic, so getting up close and personal is impossible to do. Judging by the high quality of the fit and finish craftsmanship, these ancient structures were likely constructed around the period in time when the Mesa Verde civilization was at a peak.
This canyon has several sandstone ledges above ground level and the builders made use of the available space on the natural aeries, which once were interconnected with very tall timber pole ladders. Some of the structures remain completely intact, while others have crumbled into stone block rubble piles. All it takes is a little bit of imagination to picture where the foot traffic flowed, yet a bit more intuitiveness will be required to figure out the purpose of each individual building. Plenty of information is freely available at the visitor center, which is where the Mesa Verde artifacts and research material is housed. This is the land of the eagle, where ceremonial dancers once celebrated this majestic bird in flight, so be sure to read about the cultural history in order to enrich the touring experience!
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