• 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 »

Getting Around

To get the most out of your visit to Mesa Verde, stop first at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center for park information or to purchase tickets if you wish to visit Cliff Palace Balcony House or Long House. The visitor center is located near the park entrance on U.S. Hwy 160. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, park headquarters, and Spruce Tree House are 21 miles (34 km) from the park entrance.

The route into the park is a steep, narrow, winding mountain road. Depending on weather, traffic, and road construction, plan at least two hours just to drive into and out of the park. The drive is scenic with a pull-offs and overlooks that provide spectacular views into four states. Watch for rocks that may have fallen on to the road. The elevations in the park range from 6,900 feet to 8,572 feet.

Travel Restrictions

Main Park Road
Trailers and towed vehicles are not permitted beyond Morefield Campground. If not camping, you may park these vehicles in the large parking lot located near the entrance station.

Tunnel (between milesposts 4 and 5)
The tunnel has a height restriction of 20.5 feet (6.25 m).

Each bicycle ridden through the tunnel must exhibit a white light on the front visible from 500 feet and a red light or reflector on the rear (or reflective clothing) visible for 300 feet.

Wetherill Mesa Road (open Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekends)
The Wetherill Mesa Road has sharp curves and steep grades on the twelve-mile stretch from Far View (near mile marker 15) to Wetherill Mesa. Vehicles on this road are restricted to less than 8,000 pounds and 25-feet in length.

Did You Know?

Photograph of Cliff Palace, 1895 - 1900 by WH Jackson

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.