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Mesa Verde's most visited dwelling still closed

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Posted at 9:43 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 23:43:53-05

Mesa Verde National Park's most visited cliff dwelling is going to remain closed to the public because of falling rock.

Spruce Tree House is the third largest cliff dwelling in the park. Park officials said due to the accessibility of the site and its self-guided tours, it is the most visited cliff dwelling in the park.

However, part of the site was closed last year in August after a rock fall. The entire site was closed in October.

"In November 2015... the arch crack system above Spruce Tree House was inspected and any loose material was removed," park officials said. "However, other rock fall concerns were identified during this process, and Mesa Verde has determined to keep Spruce Tree House closed for the foreseeable future, until a full geotechnical assessment can be performed."

Officials said Spruce Tree House may be seen from an overlook near the Chapin Mesa Museum. Rangers will be available at the overlook to answer questions.

Stabilization work was done on the arch in the 1940s and 1960s. 

"Natural erosion processes, including the settling of the arch, have been affected by the early stabilization work, so that modern engineering techniques may be necessary to ensure continued stability of the arch," park officials said.

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