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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Hiking Tips

HIKING RESTRICTIONS

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.


HIKING SAFETY

•Consider your physical health BEFORE hiking. All trails, except the Soda Canyon trail, are strenuous with steep elevation changes.

•You will be hiking in areas from 7000 to 9000 feet (2130 to 2740 meters) in elevation.

•Hikers are advised to carry and drink plenty of water, especially during the summer months.

•Please stay away from cliff edges as undercut overhangs are dangerous.

•Trails can be muddy and slippery after summer rains and winter snow. Proper footwear is recommended.

•Visitors with health problems should be warned that all trails, except the Soda Canyon trail, are strenuous with steep elevation changes.

•Pets are not allowed on park trails.

 

Did You Know?

View of mesas

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.