The most important site of this dwelling is seen before reaching the dwelling (well, literally a few feet).
What you are seeing here is a AD 626 Modified Basketmaker Pithouse and is one of the oldest site in Mesa Verde. Despite its age, the site is in pristine condition. The wooden structure - semi cross section - has been added to help people visualize how it looked.
Frankly, this contamination was irritating to me. They should have left it exactly the way it is or built a scale model on the side.
Whoever named various sites in Mesa Verde (widely believed to be Gustaf Nordenskiold) has done a fabulous job. Keeping the names exotic without losing touch with the reality
Step house has been so named because of the several layers at which the house has been built. (Some point to the primitive steps that lead to the house. Nope. Bad guess)
The AD 1200 Great Peublon era dwelling is beautiful. By now, we had reached "dwelling fatigue" this being the 5 th house. Sprinkling of real Anasazi artifact on the site kept the interest going. A potsherd here, a corn there.
The visit is self guided with a step by step guide available onsite.
On the left below is a hand and toe hold for moving from one level to another and on the right are some petroglyphs with the beautiful spiral - what it stood for is yet unknown.
Like all sites on Wetherhill Mesa, the dwelling is accessible only between Memorial day and Labor day. We caught it on the very last day of the time window.