Restrictions on hiking in Mesa Verde National Park are necessary to protect the fragile and irreplaceable archeological sites and artifacts for which the park was established. Hiking is only permitted around developed areas and on designated trails. Visitors found hiking away from these areas, or entering cliff dwellings when not accompanied by a uniformed National Park Service ranger, are subject to penalties provided for in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
•Consider your physical health BEFORE hiking. All trails, except the Soda Canyon trail, are strenuous with steep elevation changes.
Did You Know?
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.