• 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 »

Plan Your Visit

Use the selection of links below, or the full navigation on the left to help plan your next visit to the park.

Welcome to Mesa Verde sign at entrance to park

Entrance sign

Making the Most of Your Time
Whether you are spending a half-day or three days, preplanning will help you make the most of your visit to Mesa Verde National Park. Check out Things To Know Before You Come.

View of Cliff Palace with snow at the base of the alcove

Cliff Palace

What's Available During Your Visit
Mesa Verde is always open, but opportunities vary from season to season. Visit the Operating Hours & Seasons page for park schedule information.

Map of the Chapin Mesa area

Map of Chapin Mesa

Are you looking for Wetherill Mesa? Planning to visit to Cliff Palace or drive the Mesa Top Loop? Perhaps you just want to know how far it is to drive from the park entrance to see Spruce Tree House. A map might be just the thing you need.

View of Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House

Visiting a Cliff Dwelling
Mesa Verde is famous for the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings constructed within its cliff alcoves. Check out the cliff dwellings page to find out what sites are open, and whether they are available on a self-guided or guided-tour only basis.

School group on trail

Visitors on trail

Field Trip Planning for Schools
Are you a teacher planning a field-trip to Mesa Verde? Check out the planning information on the For Teachers, Plan A Field Trip page.

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.