Natural Seep Springs

Natural Seep Springs (HM1CUO)

Location: Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330 Montezuma County
Buy Colorado State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 37° 16.661', W 108° 29.008'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
As you travel about Mesa Verde look for seep springs — ready sources of fresh water for the Ancestral Puebloans.

Where is the Water?
Moisture, in the form of rainfall or snowmelt, percolates through porous sandstone layers until it reaches a dense, impermeable layer of shale. Prevented from percolating farther downward, the water is forced to the rock surface resulting in a seep spring in the canyon wall.

Throughout Mesa Verde, seep springs can be found at the base of the Cliff House Sandstone and Point Lookout Sandstone formations. These springs provided a ready source of fresh water for the Ancestral Puebloans. Where they lacked such springs, villagers had to collect water from potholes, creek bottoms, distant year-round springs, or build reservoirs.

Mancos Shale - Beginning more than 90 million years ago, thick layers of clay and silt were deposited when this region was covered by a shallow inland sea. The soft, easily eroded material is called Mancos Shale.

Point Lookout Sandstone - As the sea temporarily withdrew a little more than 80 million years ago, shallow water beaches and delta sands were deposited. They are now exposed in the cliffs of the Point Lookout Sandstone.

Menefee Formation - About 80 million years ago, as marine shorelines temporarily migrated to the northeast, this area had the relatively flat surface of a former sea bed. Deposits in stream floodplains, swamps, and low lying interstream areas are now seen as sandstone, coal, and woody shales.

Cliff House Sandstones - Beginning a little less than 80 million years ago, the sea once again advanced across the area. In the shallow water, sand was deposited in thick layers giving rise to the Cliff House Sandstone. More recently, erosion created alcoves that became homes to the cliff dwellers.

(Upper Left Photo Caption)
New Fire House in Fewkes Canyon shows the alcoves and niches formed in the Cliff House Sandstone.
— Photo courtesy of Mary Griffits

(Lower Center Photo Caption)
Seep springs at the base of the Cliff House Sandstone provided fresh water for the Ancestral Puebloans.
— Photo courtesy of National Park Service
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 1:56am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 723113 N 4128646
Decimal Degrees37.27768333, -108.48346667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 16.661', W 108° 29.008'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 16' 39.66" N, 108° 29' 0.48" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)970
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 220 Mesa Top Ruins Rd, Mesa Verde National Park CO 81330, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?