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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Cliff Palace Tour

View of Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
NPS PHOTO
 
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Tour around kiva in Cliff Palace

Tour around a kiva in Cliff Palace

NPS PHOTO

Cliff Palace, at about 150 rooms, is the largest cliff dwelling in the park. The one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves 120 uneven stone steps and climbing five, 8-10 foot (2.6-3m) ladders on a 100 foot (30m) vertical climb. Total walking distance is about 1/4-mile (400m), round-trip.

Once you purchase your tickets, drive to the Cliff Palace parking lot and walk to the overlook to meet the ranger for your scheduled tour.

 
The Cliff Palace tour is strenuous due to the elevation and physical exertion required to visit the dwelling. The tour is not recommended for anyone with heart or respiratory problems. Cliff Palace, like all of the cliff dwellings, is located at approximately 7,000 feet elevation and involves strenuous physical activity.

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.