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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

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  • Fire Restrictions in Effect

    Due to recent hot, dry, and windy conditions, the park is currently at very high fire danger. The following fire restrictions are in effect: No open fires are permitted anywhere within the park. Smoking is only permitted inside an enclosed vehicle. More »

Archeological Site Conservation Program

The Archeological Site Conservation Program (ASCP) mission is to preserve the 600 cliff dwellings with standing architecture in Mesa Verde National Park. By visiting these sites to assess their condition, carefully record architectural details, and maintain them through repair, we ensure that the sites are preserved for the benefit of future generations.

The ASCP is organized into three levels of documentation. Click each link to learn about the Site Survey, Condition Assessment, and Architectural Documentation programs at Mesa Verde.


Site Survey Data
serves as the baseline data for all known sites in the park and is required documentation at all newly discovered sites. more...


Condition Assessment
builds on the Site Survey Data and is required documentation at all sites containing standing masonry walls. All walls are assessed for condition and future stabilization needs. more...


Architectural Documentation is the most detailed level of documentation and occurs before any stabilization treatments take place. more...

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.