Long House Trail
ElevationAscent: 24' 7 m
Descent: -109' -33 m
High: 7,100' 2,164 m
Low: 6,991' 2,131 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
Popular hikes nearby
Long House Tour
2.2 mi 3.6 km • Out and Back • 236 ft Ascent 71.86 m Ascent
Petroglyph Point Trail
2.2 mi 3.6 km • Point to Point • 428 ft Ascent 130.47 m Ascent
Balcony House Trail
0.4 mi 0.7 km • Loop • 80 ft Ascent 24.43 m Ascent
Prater Ridge Trail
7.5 mi 12.1 km • Loop • 979 ft Ascent 298.47 m Ascent
Point Lookout Trail
1.1 mi 1.7 km • Point to Point • 527 ft Ascent 160.75 m Ascent
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“A mildly strenuous trail to the second-largest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park.”— Kelsey Reese
Family Friendly The ladders may be tall for very little kids, but being able to go further into the Long House than Cliff Palace really sets this site apart.
While Wetherill Mesa remains open longer, Long House is only available for tour from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Tickets must be purchased at the Visitor's Center and you can only visit the cliff dwelling with a Ranger. DO NOT enter the area if you are not on a Ranger-guided tour.
Long House is the second largest cliff dwelling located in the Park, second only to Cliff Palace, although this tour offers much more exploration with visitors being able to climb ladders into the heart of the dwelling and see several original walls and the seep spring in the back of the alcove, which is usually filled with healthy plants, standing water, and is much cooler than the front of the alcove. The tour groups are generally smaller, especially early and late in the season, so the experience is much more personal than tours available on Chapin Mesa.
Long House, as we see it today, was built and occupied from approximately A.D. 1225-1280/1300. There was one earlier occupation during the Basketmaker III time period ~A.D. 600-725. Long House is also home to one of the few plaza kivas in the entire park: a great kiva layout was recreated on an open plaza with no surrounding walls, suggesting some ceremonial events were more inclusive at this site rather than exclusive. It is not completely known why people left at the end of the 13th Century, but a combination of drought, increasing violence, and a cultural shift may have all contributed to the ultimate abandonment.
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Land Manager: National Park Service - Mesa Verde National Park