We're hiring an experienced UX Designer to join us in Boulder, CO.
Hiking Project Logo

Balcony House Trail

 5 votes

0.4 Miles 0.7 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

80' 24 m

Ascent

-81' -25 m

Descent

6,800' 2,073 m

High

6,719' 2,048 m

Low

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

22%

Max Grade (13°)

Unknown

Update

An adventuresome route through the cliffs to the Balcony House cliff dwelling site.

Hunter R

Overview

Balcony House must be accessed via a ranger-led tour. Tickets are mandatory and can be bought at many locations around the park. For more information, visit the park's website.
Crawling through a tunnel, scaling a ladder, and climbing over a rock face are par for the course on the !Balcony House Trail. Needless to say, this trail is for the most adventurous of Mesa Verde's visitors!
Features: Views
Family Friendly: Older children who are comfortable with scaling a ladder and crawling through a tunnel will love this adventurous and educational tour.
Dogs: No Dogs

Need to Know

To visit Balcony House, you'll first need to purchase tickets for the ranger-led tour. These tours are typically available from late April to mid-October and tickets can be purchased at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center.

Description

This hour-long, ranger-led tour of Balcony House is one of the most intriguing tours that Mesa Verde has to offer. After purchasing your tickets, head to the !Balcony House Trail Parking Area where the tour will start. Visitors can meet the ranger at the benches located under the shaded ramada where the tour will begin.

The trail itself presents many exciting challenges as visitors will have to descend a 100-foot staircase into the canyon before climbing a 32-foot ladder, and then crawling through a 12-foot, 18-inch wide tunnel. This tour is definitely not for those with a fear of heights or small spaces! After passing through the tunnel, you'll still have another 60 feet of climbing on ladders and stone steps to reach the Balcony House.

Once to the cliff dwelling itself, visitors are rewarded with an amazing cliffside view and an educational tour of the amazingly well-preserved Mesa Verde cliff dwelling.

The Balcony House, which is considered a medium size cliff dwelling, has a total of 40 rooms, and visitors can easily see how the rooms and passageways in the alcove were constructed over time. The dramatic views, well-preserved structures, and exciting features of this cliff dwelling are definitely what make it one of the most memorable sites in the park today.

History & Background

Balcony House was first found and entered by prospector S. E. Osborn in the spring of 1884. In a newspaper article published late in 1886, Osborn describes some of the sites and one of the descriptions is very similar to Balcony House leaving little doubt that he entered it during his visits to Mesa Verde in 1883-1884. Archeologist Jesse Nusbaum excavated Balcony House in 1910.

Contacts

Rate Featured Hike


   Clear Rating

3.8 from 5 votes


Get On-Trail Navigation

Send to Phone
Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2017
Steve W
Apr 17, 2017
L H
Feb 16, 2017
Bret Unger
Oct 9, 2016
Dave Cecil
Sep 18, 2016
Sarah McClure
Sep 4, 2016
Camille Coffey
9:30 am tour, sunny day. Excellent tour!
Jul 17, 2016
Kendall Beggs
A fun tour of a unique cliff house. Have to climb a 30 foot ladder and squeeze through a tunnel. — 1h 00m
Jul 2, 2016
Carole Witten

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 5 votes

#2628

Overall
  3.8 from 5 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
80%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#354

in Colorado

#2,628

Overall
12 Views Last Month
199 Since Jun 8, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
60%
20%
20%
0%
0%

Conditions



Getting forecast...

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking