• View of Square Tower House, seen along the Mesa Top Loop

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Balcony House Educational Tours

Various images of the Balcony House tour including ladder, tunnel, and courtyards.
Left: Visitors entering Balcony House via 32 ft. ladder. Top middle: North Courtyard. Top right: Exit ladder and stone steps. Bottom middle: Looking back at the Kiva Courtyard. Bottom right: Exit tunnel.

Educational Tours of Balcony House for 3rd to 12th Grade School Groups

The majority of the park is self-guided. However, subject to availability and staffing, Mesa Verde National Park is able to offer a 1- 1/2 hour, curriculum-based, ranger-guided tour of Balcony House, at no cost for 3rd to 12th grade educational groups. Group size - 10 students minimum to 30 students maximum per tour. Each tour must have at least one (and no more than three) adult for every ten students.

The Balcony House tour is an adventurous cliff dwelling tour that involves climbing a 32 ft. ladder, crawling through a 12ft.-long tunnel, and climbing up a 60ft (20m) open rock face with two 10ft (3m) ladders to exit the site.

Programs are available April to mid-May, and September to mid-October. If you are planning an educational visit to the park during these times, and would like to request a tour, please contact the education coordinator at (970) 529-5079.

Reservations for Spring 2014 Balcony House educational tours (April 15 to May 22, 2014) are now being accepted.

Did You Know?

Photograph of Cliff Palace, 1895 - 1900 by WH Jackson

On a snowy December day in 1888, while ranchers Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason searched Mesa Verde’s canyons for stray cattle, they unexpectedly came upon Cliff Palace for the first time. The following year, the Wetherill brothers and Mason explored an additional 182 cliff dwellings.