Mesa Verde Announces 2nd Annual Bike and Hike on Wetherill Mesa
Contact: Carol Sperling, 970-529-4628
Everyone is invited to Mesa Verde National Park’s 2nd annual “Hike and Bike” on the Wetherill Mesa tram road on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11. Entrance fees will be waived for those participating. “Fall is a great time to enjoy the park, with cooler weather and the changing colors of autumn,” said Superintendent Cliff Spencer. “This year, several native artists will be demonstrating traditional arts and crafts, as well.” Wetherill Mesa is closed for the season after Labor Day, but will re-open for hikers and bikers on September 10 and 11.
On both days, the Wetherill Mesa Road will open at 9:00 a.m. and close to entry at 3:30 p.m. All visitors must exit the Wetherill Road by 4:30 p.m. The Wetherill Mesa Road is located near mile 15 on the park road, just past Far View Lodge. From that junction, hikers and bike riders are invited to drive 12 miles to the Wetherill Mesa information kiosk, where several native artists will be demonstrating traditional arts and crafts. From that point, hikers and bicycle riders can ride or hike along the 5.5 mile long tram loop road. Along the route, stop at Long House, the second largest cliff dwelling in the park; hike into Step House; explore Badger House Community; and hike to views of Kodak House, and Nordenskiöld #16. Park rangers and volunteers will be available to answer questions and point out unique features of each site.
Participants may bring a picnic lunch and drinking water, or may purchase a hot sandwich, chips and a drink for $6.00 from the Mesa Verde Community Club at the kiosk. “Last year’s first hike and bike was a great experience,” said Superintendent Spencer. “We hope visitors and local community residents will join us again this year.”
For safety’s sake, bicycle riding is not allowed on the Wetherill Mesa Road itself, due to its narrow condition and lack of shoulders. Dogs are not permitted on the tram road. Riders and hikers should keep safety in mind at all times: bring plenty of drinking water and high energy snacks, sun and wind protection. Wetherill Mesa is about 7240 feet above sea level. For more information, call (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.