Leave the crowds at Mesa Verde National Park and visit the largely intact Betatakin Cliff Dwelling (“Ledge House”) in small groups with a ranger as your guide. You have to make a steep descent into the canyon followed by a short walk to the Anazasi ruin.
An even better experience is the 2-day 17-mile round-trip hike to Keet Seel (”Remains of Square House”), a more remote and less visited cliff dwelling and one of the best preserved ancestral pueblo villages in the Southwest. Permits are necessary and a ranger is available at the ruin.
The campground is free but has a limited number of spaces; cargo van conversions fall well within their vehicle length restrictions. Summer campfire presentations are fun and family friendly and during your stay, you can walk several short trails that lead to the canyon.
Most van dwellers like pets, but:
Pets are NOT allowed in buildings or on trails; they are welcome in the campground as long as they are leashed and under control.