Winter Activities in Mesa Verde National Park
Contact: Tessy Shirakawa, 970-529-4628
Mesa Verde National Park is open with all winter services available. The winter schedule of programs will be in effect November 7, 2010 to April 9, 2011. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The only cliff dwelling open during the winter season, Spruce Tree House, can be visited on a ranger-guided walking tour offered daily at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. These tours are free and do not require a ticket. The tours last approximately one hour. Interested visitors should meet the Ranger in the lobby of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum just before the tour time.
The Mesa Top Loop Road will remain open throughout the winter from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Heavy snowfall or icy road conditions may close the road temporarily. The main park road will remain open throughout the winter, subject to road closures after heavy snowfall.
Once snow covers the ground, the Cliff Palace Loop Road and trails to Petroglyph Point and Spruce Canyon will close for the season. If enough snow is received during the winter, the park will groom cross-country ski tracks on the Cliff Palace-Balcony House Loop for skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors should contact the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum or the park dispatch office for updates about weather, road and trail conditions.
The Far View Lodge and Terrace, the Far View Visitor Center and the Morefield Campground are closed for the season. There is no gasoline or other fuel available in the park. Food service is available at Spruce Tree Terrace, open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Additional information can be found in the 2010-2011 Winter Visitor Guide or by calling the park's main information line at (970) 529-4465.
Did You Know?
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.