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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Temporary Closure of Spruce Tree House Trail

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Date: April 8, 2010
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628

Long Needed Trail Rehabilitation
Funded Through the American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act of 2009

Due to a major rehabilitation of the Spruce Tree House trail, the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling will be temporarily closed to the public from April 11 to April 30, 2010. The rehabilitation of this popular trail is one of the projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The trail has not had extensive maintenance in over 20 years, and will be upgraded to better meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The project includes documentation of historic stone construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps, repairing and rebuilding retaining walls, correcting trail pitch and slope, and resurfacing the trail tread.

Although much of this work has been accomplished with little to no impact to the visiting public, the park will repave the entire length of the trail beginning April 11, 2010. The repaving was carefully timed to take place when temperature and weather conditions permitted, but before the busy summer season. Due to the narrow width of the Spruce Tree House trail, visitors will not be able to access the site safely while the trail is being repaved. From April 11 to April 30, Spruce Tree House and trail will be closed.

During the Spruce Tree House trail closure:

  • Park entrance fees will be waived.
  • Rangers will present 30-minute Spruce Tree House Overlook Talks at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm.
  • Ranger-guided tours of Balcony House will be available early this year to provide an alternative cliff dwelling tour for visitors. Beginning April 11, tours will be offered each day at 9:30 am,12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Tickets are required for the Balcony House tours. Tickets are $3.00 per person, for all ages and can only be purchased at the Far View Visitor Center.

The Spruce Tree House Trail rehabilitation project began in June, 2009. Work on the trail has been accomplished by park maintenance staff, Southwest Youth Conservation Corp in Durango, and the trail crew from Saguaro National Park. Trail pavement will be removed, asphalt recycled, and reapplied. Trail rehabilitation will continue through the summer, but will not impact the visiting public. The project should be completed in late August or early September, 2010.

For more information, please see Spruce Tree House, Alternative Spring 2010 Schedule.


-NPS-

Did You Know?

Cliff Palace in the snow

Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde National Park. It has 150 rooms, plus an additional 75 open areas. Twenty-one of the rooms are kivas, and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. The number of Ancestral Puebloans living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 to 120.