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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

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  • 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 »

Geologic Views

Listed below are the best locations to view and understand the geologic features of Mesa Verde National Park. Wayside exhibits and trail guides will assist you in interpreting the park geology. For a more detailed description of Mesa Verde’s geology and geologic features, go to Geology under Nature and Science.


Geologic Overlook is a stop along the main park road. A short walk on the trail from the parking area will lead you to the overlook and wayside exhibits that discuss the area geology as well as other park topics.

Knife Edge Trail (2 miles, round-trip) begins in the Morefield Campground. Take along the trail guide to learn about area geology, and other park topics as well.

Montezuma Overlook is a stop along the main park road. The overlook has exhibits that discuss area geology and other park topics as well.

Park Point is the highest point on the main park road. A short walk on the trail from the parking lot will lead you to the overlook and wayside exhibits. These exhibits discuss area geology and other park topics as well.

Petroglyph Loop Trail (2.4 miles, round-trip) is located near the museum and Spruce Tree House. Take along the trail guide to learn about area geology as well as other park topics.

Spruce Tree House Trail (0.5 miles) is located near the museum. Take along the trail guide to learn about area geology and other park topics as well.

Did You Know?

Baron Gustaf Nordenskiold

In 1891, Swedish scientist Gustaf Nordenskiold studied, explored, and photographed many of Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings. Considered by many to be the first true archeologist at Mesa Verde, his book, "The Cliff Dwellers of the Mesa Verde," was the first extensive record of its cliff dwellings.