Winter Recreational Opportunities at Mesa Verde
Contact: Betty Lieurance, 970-529-4608
Mesa Verde National Park's winter trail systems are open for winter recreational use. The trails include the Cliff Palace Loop Road, Wetherill Mesa Road Trail, Prater Canyon and Morefield Campground Trails. Maps and detailed information on skiing and snowshoeing winter recreational opportunities can be acquired on the park website, at the park entrance gate, by calling the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum at (970) 529-4631 or by calling park dispatch at (970) 529-4622.
The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through December 31, 2012. Beginning January 1, 2013, the museum will close at 4:30 p.m. daily.
Spruce Tree House, the park's third largest cliff dwelling and the only alcove site open during the winter, can be visited on a ranger-guided walking tour offered three times daily. These one-hour tours are free and do not require a ticket. Interested visitors should meet the ranger in the lobby of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum just before tour time.
The Mesa Top Loop Road will remain open throughout the winter from 8:00 a.m. to sunset, 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 when hazardous road conditions exist.
Food service is available at Spruce Tree Terrace, open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no gasoline or other fuel available in the park.
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.