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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Guided Tours

The following cliff dwellings can only be visited by taking a ranger-guided tour. Tours are strenuous. Due to high demand for tours during the busy summer season, you may be asked to choose only one tour per day between Cliff Palace and Balcony House. Long House may be visited on the same day as Cliff Palace or Balcony House. Please use the link at right to see a schedule of tours.

Tour tickets must be purchased in person and can be purchased up to two days in advance. Tickets for Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House are $4.00 per person, all ages. Tickets for Cliff Palace Twilight tours are $12.00 per person, all ages.

You can purchase $4.00 tour tickets at the following locations and times:

Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center
April 11 to May 22, 2014 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
May 23 to September 1 2014 7:30 am to 7:00 pm
September 2 to November 1, 2014 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Morefield Ranger Station
May 25 to September 1, 2014 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Colorado Welcome Center, Cortez
April 11 to May 25, 2014 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
May 26 to August 31 2014 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
September 1 to November 1, 2014 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum**
April 11 to November 1, 2014 9:00 am to 3:30 pm


**Hint: You'll get the best selection of times for ranger-guided tours at the Visitor and Research Center, Morefield Ranger Station, or the Colorado Welcome Center. Options may be more limited at the Museum.

 
CHAPIN MESA
 
Tour at Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace

NPS PHOTO

Cliff Palace
Mesa Verde's Largest Cliff Dwelling
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing five, 8-10ft (2.6-3m) ladders, on a 100ft (30m) vertical climb. Total walking distance is about 1/4-mile (400m), round-trip. The tour begins at Cliff Palace Overlook, an 8-mile (13km), 20-minute drive from the Visitor Center.

Please note: Essential preservation work on Cliff Palace may be required this summer. We'll do our best to minimize the impact on ranger-guided tours. Please check here for current schedules.

 
View of courtyard in Balcony House

Balcony House

Balcony House
Adventurous Cliff Dwelling Tour
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing a 32 ft. ladder, crawling through a 12ft.-long tunnel, and climbing up a 60ft (20m) open rock face with two 10ft (3m) ladders to exit the site. The tour begins at the Balcony House parking area, a 10-mile (16km), 25-minute drive from the Visitor Center. Please check here for current schedules.

 
Spruce Tree House in winter

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House
Best-Preserved Cliff Dwelling
During the winter months, from early November to early March, visits to Spruce Tree House are available by free, ranger-guided tours only. Three tours are available each day (check here for tour times). Each one-hour tour involves a 100ft (30m) descent and ascent on a winding path. Walking distance is 1/2-mile (1km) round trip. Tours begin at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum.
•During the spring, summer, and fall (early March to early November), Spruce Tree House is available on a self-guided basis.

 
CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) boy at Cliff Palace

CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) boy at Cliff Palace

Twilight Tours in Cliff Palace
Join historical figures from Mesa Verde's past for a 90-minute tour of the park's most popular cliff dwelling, Cliff Palace. These characters, locked in their own time period, will give a fascinating perspective of their Mesa Verde experience. Please check the Interpretive Program Schedule for 2014 dates and times.
•Tour is limited to 20 people
•$12.00 per person (Tickets can be purchased in advance, online at www.recreation.gov or by phoning the call center at 1-877-444-6777.)

 
Cliff Palace in twilight

Cliff Palace in twilight

Cliff Palace Photography Tours
Photographers, here is a chance to spend 90 minutes in Cliff Palace with a park ranger in a small group setting. Dramatic sunset lighting will appeal to both amateur and professional photographers. Please check the Interpretive Program Schedule for 2014 dates and times.
•Tour is limited to 10 people
•$20.00 per person (Tickets can be purchased in advance, online at www.recreation.gov or by phoning the call center at 1-877-444-6777.)

 
WETHERILL MESA (Open Memorial Day to Labor Day Weekends)

 
Visitors on a guided tour of Long House

Long House

Long House
Mesa Verde's Most In-Depth Tour
Starting with a tram ride to and from the trailhead, this 90-minute, ranger-guided tour involves climbing two 15ft (4.5m) ladders within the site. The round trip hike is 3/4 mile (1.2km), with a 130ft (40m) gain in elevation upon exiting. Tour begins at the Wetherill Mesa information kiosk, a 12-mile (19km) drive along the Wetherill Mesa Road (begins near mile marker 15). Allow 45 minutes for this drive. Vehicles over 25-feet (8m) long are prohibited on this road. Please check here for current schedules.

 
ARAMARK Mesa Verde (Park Concession)

 

Half-Day Guided Bus Tours
Mid-April to mid-October

Mesa Verde National Park concessioner ARAMARK conducts guided bus tours that offer modern views of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Tours stop at archeological sites along the Mesa Top Loop Road and include a walking tour of Cliff Palace. Tours depart Far View Lodge at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center, Far View Lodge and Terrace, and Morefield Campground. For more information about these tours, visit the ARAMARK website.

Did You Know?

The north courtyard of Balcony House

Contrary to popular belief, the Ancestral Puebloan people of Mesa Verde did not disappear. They migrated south to New Mexico and Arizona, and became today’s modern pueblo people.