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gem icon Cliff Palace [Suggest Edits]

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This site can only be visited by taking a ranger-guided tour. Tour tickets must be purchased in person and can be purchased up to two days in advance. Tickets can be found here.

The crown jewel of Mesa Verde National Park and an architectural masterpiece by any standard, Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. From the rim top overlooks, the collection of rooms, plazas, and towers fits perfectly into the sweeping sandstone overhang that has largely protected it, unpeopled and silent, since the thirteenth century. It's impossible to be certain why Ancestral Pueblo people decided to move into the cliff-side alcoves about AD 1200 and build elaborate and expansive structures like Cliff Palace. However, the sciences of archeology, ethnography, dendrochronology and a host of other disciplines offer us insights into this era in this region's history.

Mesa Verde National Park offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made this land their home for over 700 years. Today, the park protects over 4,500 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

Please do your part to protect them for all to visit and enjoy. Most of the sites you see at Mesa Verde are over 750 years old, so please treat Cliff Palace as you would a museum.

  • Please do not touch, sit, stand, or lean on their fragile walls.
  • Since archeologists need to see everything in context to understand a site, do not disturb artifacts. Removing them is illegal.
  • No smoking or eating is permitted in the sites.
  • Only leashed service animals are allowed in sites or on trails. Always stay on marked trails.
  • Since people may be on trails below you, do not throw rocks or other objects
  • Do carry and drink water

Long Walk: .2 miles on the Cliff Palace Overlook Trail.

Gem Type: Historic Site

Shared by:
Thomas Birch

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Check-Ins

Aug 20, 2021
Shawn Forsberg
Just beautiful.
Jun 27, 2021
Ben Andrus
Great views
Jun 19, 2021
Ellen Biggerstaff
Dec 26, 2020
Colin Loc
Oct 6, 2020
Todd Penner
Closed for tots but still pretty cool
Sep 13, 2020
Kaycie Lanpher
Aug 23, 2020
Chris Darwin
Aug 3, 2020
Cary Greenfield
Great views from the overlook

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Shared by Thomas Birch on Jan 21, 2016. All Page Views: 533. Last Month: 2.