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A child-friendly route along Spruce Canyon to petroglyphs left by the Ancestral Puebloans.


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.6

KM

Point to Point

6,957' 2,121 m

High

6,678' 2,035 m

Low

428' 130 m

Up

169' 51 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Cave · Views

Family Friendly Short distance, moderate grades, and partial shade all make for a pleasant hike with children.

Overview

While this route passes through some of the beautiful areas of Mesa Verde, the true highlight is viewing the petroglyphs at Petroglyph Point. Left by the Ancestral Puebloans, these relics are sure to capture the imaginations of visitors young and old alike.

Description

The first half of the trail is mostly shaded, as it is located at the bottom of the canyon. Due to this location, there will be lots of loose, fine sand along the trail bed. Along the way, enjoy a trip through time as you pass a few small dwelling remnants that can be seen from a distance. While you're appreciating the remnants that humans left behind, take a moment to appreciate the unique sandstone features in the walls.

You'll reach the petroglyphs about halfway through the trail. This is a popular stopping point, and a great place to stop for a while.

After the Petroglyphs, you start your return journey. As you work your way out of the canyon, you'll be climbing stone steps, which can be big, but are flat and clear of debris.

Eventually, visitors will curve around to the top of the canyon wall and follow the rim back to the visitors center. Though the canyon is shaded and filled with history, the canyon rim offers wonderful views! The unobstructed desert views come at a cost, and there is little to no shade up here.

Contacts

Shared By:

Micah Bontrager

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 40 votes

#291

Overall
  4.6 from 40 votes
5 Star
68%
4 Star
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3 Star
5%
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0%
1 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#68

in Colorado

#291

Overall
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2,589 Since Oct 1, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

Ancient ruins.
Mar 31, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Petroglyphs on the Mesa Verde Petroglyph Point Trail.
Apr 14, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Mesa Verde National Park
Apr 3, 2020 near Towaoc, CO
Mesa Verde National Park
Apr 3, 2020 near Towaoc, CO
Kmeg climbing out of one of the kivas. Love the immersive experience of the Spruce Tree House tour.
Apr 11, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Shortly after passing the Petroglyphs, you'll climb these steps to get to the top of the Mesa.
Apr 18, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 23 days ago
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May 14, 2024
Rachel Ganger
May 7, 2024
McKayla Mashburn
Sep 17, 2022
Private User
Jul 30, 2022
KYLE BETZ
May 3, 2022
Matt Culpepper
Watch for locked gates! (2.5/400) 2.5mi
Mar 23, 2022
Kurt Krienitz
Oct 8, 2021
Art Klawitter
Jul 5, 2021
Allison Klein
2.4mi — 1h 00m
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