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 »
Step House is a self-guided cliff dwelling. The 3/4 mile trail is steep (a 100 foot descent and ascent on a winding path). Your time in the site is self-paced so you can enter and exit at your leisure. There is a ranger on duty in the dwelling to answer questions between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Step House can be entered before or after a Long House tour. Allow approximately 45 minutes to visit the site in addition to the 1-1/2 hour long tour of Long House. The sites on Wetherill Mesa provide for much quieter and slower paced visit. It is worthwhile to spend at least half a day on Wetherill Mesa. It usually takes 3 to 4 hours to visit all of the Wetherill sites, but can easily take longer if someone wants to take advantage of all the walking trails in the area.
Step House and Wetherill Mesa are open between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day (the last Sunday in May through the first Monday in September). Step House is reached by driving out a 12 mile winding road that leaves the main park road just beyond the Far View Lodge near mile marker 15. The steep, winding road follows an historic fire trail for 12 miles. Vehicle length is restricted to 25 feet or less.
Did You Know?
The Ancestral Puebloans inhabited Mesa Verde for more than 700 years (550 A.D. to 1300 A.D.), but for the first six centuries, they primarily lived on the mesa tops. It was not until the final 75 to 100 years that they constructed and lived in the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is known.