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National park tips: Here’s where you can climb into someone’s 13th-century home

Colorado's Mesa Verde National Park includes many remarkable cliff dwellings. If you're up for a little climbing, you can explore them via stairs and ladders.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is only 90 minutes’ drive from tourist-friendly Durango, Colo., but many tourists never make the side trip. Do it.

Mesa Verde has about 600 cliff dwellings, many dating to the 13th century. In 1906, it became the first national park to focus on something made by human hands.

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds

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See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.

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