There is plenty to experience in the Four Corners Region and a visitor can stay busy for several weeks just by checking out the local ancient native heritage sites. For those who are interested in doing the Four Corners ancient native heritage site tour, Mesa Verde National Park is a great place to start! Most of the roadside viewing areas at Mesa Verde are perched high on a mesa and they nearly all overlook points of interest in the surrounding canyons. Some of the Mesa Verde canyons are a few hundred yards wide, so it can be difficult to see pueblos that are located on the opposite side. For this reason, it is best to pack a high power viewing lens when touring Mesa Verde!
To get an upclose look at the pueblos in Mesa Verde, a visitor will have to reserve passage on a guided tour. Self guided tours are not allowed in many of the pueblos, because they are heavily protected heritage sites. The ranger guided tours require hiking and climbing tall rustic ladders that may be two to three stories tall, which can be challenging for some visitors. The ranger guided tours are the best way to gain some insight and the closeup views of the ancient dwellings are memorable.
When viewing the distant cliffside pueblos in Soda Canyon from the overlooks at Mesa Verde, it is best to pack a high power viewing device, like binoculars, a telescope or a telephoto camera. A 300mm lens will be a good start. A powerful viewing lens will definitely be needed to see the finer details of Hemenway House, which is in Soda Canyon.
Hemenway House is a large great house pueblo that is tucked underneath a large overhang on the opposing canyon wall. The distance is more than a quarter mile from the overlook, but the views are unobstructed. Hemenway House is a majestic sight to see, even from a distance. This great house pueblo almost completely covers the entire floor of the natural canyon wall alcove that is protected by the overhanging cliff. On top of the cliff, the remains of a few more pueblo structures can be seen when using a powerful lens.
From what I could gather, there are no hiking trails to Hemenway House, but there are other overlooks in Soda Canyon that may present more views. Balcony House is nearby, but this pueblo requires a guided tour. Hemenway House may be for your eyes only, but it truly is a majestic ancient pueblo to view, even from way across the canyon!
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