Wait a minute! Ancient ruins? Here in the U.S.? Yep, you read that right. There are several ancient ruins you can visit! The wonderful thing about RVing to ancient ruins is that they are scattered all over the United States. Here are a few of my favorites.
Mesa Verde – Colorado
Cliff Palace is tucked inside Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park. This ancient cliff dwelling was carved right into the rock and includes 23 kivas (chambers) and 150 rooms. Believed to have been built by Pueblos between 1190 A.D. and 1260 A.D., this is the largest cliff dwelling in North America.
Check out the official website here.
Medicine Wheel – Wyoming
This National Historic Landmark is located just 12 miles from the Montana border, 46 miles west of Sheridan, WY. Considered an ancient, sacred site for Native Americans, this is the largest stone medicine wheel in North America. Archeological evidence points to nearly 7,000 years of use by a variety of peoples and tribes.
Check out the official website.
Great Serpent Mound – Ohio
This winding effigy (animal-shaped) mound located near Peebles, Ohio, is more than 1,300 feet long! There is very little in the way of found artifacts or written record about it, and that means researchers have a difficult time identifying the original builders of the fascinating mound.
The snakelike mound shape features a coiled tail section at one end and an oval shape at the opposite end, suggesting either a serpent’s eye or its open mouth consuming an egg.
Find the official website here.
Cahokia Mounds – Illinois
In 1250 A.D., the great city of Cahokia was larger than London, England, at that time. At one time, this massive population center covered more than 4,000 acres and included over 120 mounds. Five circular Woodhenges (sun calendars) have been unearthed and point to the impressive engineering and scientific knowledge of the mounds’ ancient peoples.
Put these ancient ruins on your “To Do” list. The interpretive center is undergoing renovations, but you can still tour the ruins. Check tour availability on their official website.
Judaculla Rock – North Carolina
This site holds the largest and best-known example of U.S. Native People’s petroglyphs. Believed to have been carved between 500 A.D. and 1700 A.D., this rock is among many such carved boulders within a 15-mile area in Jackson County, North Carolina. The Cherokee peoples believed that the ancient, seven-fingered creature, a Judaculla, landed on the rock while leaping from mountain to mountain, leaving behind his unique markings.
Check out this website to learn more and also read about additional things to see and do in the area.
Have you discovered any additional ancient ruins while RVing across the country? Tell us about them in the comments below.