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.
Tunnel (between milesposts 4 and 5)
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)
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.