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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Knife Edge...

an apt description for this precarious access into Mesa Verde.

 
 
Knife Edge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
1. Knife Edge Marker
Inscription.  A traveler in 1892 described a trail on the ridge before you as the Crinkly Edge Trail. In 1911, just five years after the park was established, the trail became the Knife Edge Road, a new section of the main park road. Although scenic, the road was narrow and steep, and the instability of the soil made it difficult to maintain. Two years later, the park built a bypass through Morefield and Prater Canyons. When the first automobile trip was made in 1914, vehicles used the bypass and the Knife Edge Road was soon closed.

The scenic value of the Knife Edge Road prompted the park to reopen it in 1924, replacing the longer bypass. Although it continued to challenge road crews for the next 30 years, it remained in use until 1957 when the Morefield-Prater tunnel was completed.

Captions
Lower left: Celebrating the reopening of the Knife Edge Road in 1924, and the newly graded road into Mesa Verde National Park. — Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Photographic Collections
Right: Spurred by the challenges of providing safe access, the park has made many changes to the main road
Knife Edge... Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
2. Knife Edge... Marker Detail
Celebrating the reopening of the Knife Edge Road in 1924, and the newly graded road into Mesa Verde National Park. — Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library, Western History Photographic Collections
over the last century During the early years, the road was rerouted several times to improve, shorten, or create a more dependable route into the park. (Photo of Knife Edge Road accident, 1925)
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasRoads & Vehicles.
 
Location. 37° 17.83′ N, 108° 26.475′ W. Marker is in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, in Montezuma County. Marker can be reached from Mesa Top Ruins Road (State Highway 10). Marker is located at the Montezuma Valley Overlook, on a trail leading from the overlook. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mesa Verde National Park CO 81330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Montezuma Valley (within shouting distance of this marker); Mancos Valley (approx. 1.8 miles away); Natural Seep Springs (approx. 2.7 miles away); A Monument to Time (approx. 2.7 miles away); Four Corners (approx. 3.9 miles away); Cortez (approx. 3.9 miles away); Southwest Survival (approx. 3.9 miles away); Mesa Verde Country (approx. 3.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mesa Verde National Park.
 
Knife Edge... Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
3. Knife Edge... Marker Detail
Knife Edge... Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
4. Knife Edge... Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 47 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021