Why did the Pueblo people leave the Mesa Verde region in the late A.D. 1200s?

There was probably more than one reason the Pueblo people left the Mesa Verde region in the late A.D. 1200s. Archaeologists think the environment changed in ways that made it difficult to grow corn. There was a drought from A.D. 1276 through 1299. This drought probably caused food shortages, especially because the population had grown so large. The resulting hardships may have led to tension and conflict.

Eventually, the Pueblo people of the Mesa Verde region decided to migrate south, where the rains were more reliable. They already knew about other Pueblo people living in villages in Arizona and New Mexico. Knowing where they were going and who already lived there might have made it easier for them to decide to leave the Mesa Verde region.