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Spruce Tree House Trail

Intermediate
 4.5 (4)

One of the best preserved and third largest cliff dwellings with fairly easy access via paved path.


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Map Key

0.4

Miles

0.6

KM

Point to Point

6,963' 2,122 m

High

6,813' 2,077 m

Low

69' 21 m

Up

219' 67 m

Down

14%

Avg Grade (8°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views

Family Friendly A short paved path with good views of the dwellings and first-hand interactions with kivas.

Description

Spruce Treehouse Trail takes visitors to the third largest cliff dwelling in the park with the easiest access. The dwellings are approximately 100 feet lower in elevation compared to the parking lot, with a path that is gradual and paved.

This is a self-guided tour for most of the year, with free ranger-guided tours during the winter months. Ranger-guided tours are offered three times a day.

The trail begins between the museum and the ranger's office. You'll find a sign that asks you to bring water, and leave food out of the dwellings. Food droppings can bring rats and potentially ruin the site. The trail is a smooth paved path with a moderate grade.

Follow the paved path down, and you'll shortly find yourself at the first viewpoint with a bench to rest on.

Continue down the path until you reach a fork. The path on the left takes you on the Spruce Treehouse loop in a clockwise direction, while taking the path on the right takes you to Spruce Canyon Trail and Petroglyph Point Trail.

Once you reach the dwellings you may enter one of the kivas, which are dwellings in the ground. Take note at how well preserved the wood is inside the kiva, and how it's former dwellers built the roof by placing logs along the ceiling to support the edges. There are also rangers present around the site to answer questions about dwellings and the people that lived in them.

When you're all done checking out the site, you may continue on the loop at the other end. The path descends about another 50 feet before heading back up. You'll find a small wooden bridge at the bottom of the path that crosses a seasonal stream. Follow the path all the way up and finish where you started at the museum.

Contacts

Shared By:

R Kahboohigh

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 4 votes

#6714

Overall
  4.5 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#555

in Colorado

#6,714

Overall
15 Views Last Month
348 Since Oct 1, 2015
Intermediate

25%
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Photos

Ancient ruins.
Mar 31, 2016 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
Dwellings.
Dec 31, 2015 near Towaoc, CO
View from the top of the kivas.
Dec 30, 2015 near Towaoc, CO
Cliff dwellings.
Dec 31, 2015 near Towaoc, CO

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Check-Ins

Aug 16, 2019
Scott Meier
Jun 14, 2019
Paul Webb
2mi
Mar 15, 2019
Kaleb Kleiss Hoeft
0.8mi — 1h 00m
Jun 16, 2018
Kari Slominski
Almost made it there- feeling heated and sick, and turned back.