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Mesa Verde National Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

13 mi 20 km of trail 5 Featured Hikes

Gems 6 Gems Easy Trails 14 Trails Intermediate Trails 3 Trails Hard Trails 0 Trails

Mesa Verde National Park offers a dramatic glimpse into the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in the area between 600 AD to 1300 AD. Today, Mesa Verde, which translates to Green Table, preserves nearly 5,000 archeological sites, 600 of which are cliff dwellings. These are some of the most important and well-preserved archeological sites in the United States, and visitors are certain to be impressed by these amazing structures and historic remnants. The park's rich culture and impressive history is also complemented by the natural beauty of the landscape.

To learn more about Mesa Verde National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Center:
The Mesa Verde Visitor Center is open daily, year round with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Hours of operation vary by season.

  • January to early April: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Early April to late May: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Late May to early September: 7:30 am to 7 pm
  • Early September to early November: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Early November to late December: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Visiting Tips

Mesa Verde National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Recreational opportunities vary by season as some of the park's services, programs, and areas are open seasonally. For current hours of operation and more information on seasonal closures, visit the park's website.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
Full-service camping and services are open from early May to mid-October at the Morefield Campground and Village. Primitive camping is also offered seasonally. For more information about camping in the park, click here. Morefield Campground has 267 sites. Reservations can be made online.

Lodging:
For visitors looking for lodging within the park, the Far View Lodge, which is located 15 miles from the park entrance and just six miles from the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, is open mid-April to mid-October. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-449-2288 or online.

Food & Drink

The park offers several restaurants and cafes. Enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at the Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe, a gourmet meal at the Metate Room Restuarant, classic and local fare at the Far View Terrace Restaurant, or a quick bite at the Knife Edge Cafe. All restaurants in the park are open during the summer months, and the Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe is open year-round.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Mesa Verde National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs that vary by season. Certain cliff dwellings and historic sites may only be visited as part of a ranger-led tour. Visitors looking to visit the Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House must purchase a ticket. Tickets must be purchased in person and can be purchased up to two days in advance. Additionally, the park offers several other tours such as the Twilight Photography Tour, Historic Walking District Tour, and a half-day guided bus tour. To learn more about these programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

The park also offers several guided backcountry hikes which offer visitors a chance to explore the park further. For more information and to purchase tickets for a guided backcountry hike, visit the park's website.

Other Activities

Visitors to Mesa Verde are sure to be amazed by the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people. No less impressive is the beautiful landscape of southwest Colorado. In the summer, visitors can choose from a variety of activities including enjoying a picnic, taking a scenic drive along Mesa Top Loop Road, exploring the trails, and bird and wildlife watching. In the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular. Also, be sure to check out the great opportunities for mountain biking in Cortez, and rock climbing in the nearby town of Durango.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Gems in Mesa Verde National Park - 6

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Featured Hikes in Mesa Verde National Park - 5

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Trails in Mesa Verde National Park - 12

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0.3 mi 0.5 km
#1 Long House Trail
Towaoc, CO
0.3 mi 0.5 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Towaoc, CO
0.3 mi 0.5 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Cortez, CO
0.6 mi 1.0 km Cortez, CO
Unknown
Update
0.8 mi 1.3 km
#4 Step House Trail
Towaoc, CO
0.8 mi 1.3 km Towaoc, CO
All Clear
Update
Dry
10 days ago
1.0 mi 1.7 km
#5 Knife Edge Trail
Mancos, CO
1.0 mi 1.7 km Mancos, CO
Unknown
Update
0.6 mi 1.0 km
#6 Nordenskiold Trail
Towaoc, CO
0.6 mi 1.0 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Towaoc, CO
0.4 mi 0.6 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Towaoc, CO
1.2 mi 1.9 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Towaoc, CO
0.4 mi 0.7 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
Towaoc, CO
0.7 mi 1.1 km Towaoc, CO
All Clear
Update
Dry
68 days ago
Towaoc, CO
2.3 mi 3.7 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update
4.0 mi 6.4 km
#12 Long House Loop
Towaoc, CO
4.0 mi 6.4 km Towaoc, CO
Unknown
Update

Photos of Mesa Verde National Park - 74

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