• 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 »

Visiting Cliff Dwellings

There are a number of cliff dwellings that can be toured during your visit to Mesa Verde National Park. Most of these can only be visited by taking a ranger-guided tour. Two are open seasonally on a self-guided basis. See the chart below for general information. For details, use the links at right.

CLIFF DWELLINGS

GUIDED-ONLY

SELF-GUIDED ONLY

Cliff Palace

Early April
to
Early November

N/A

Balcony House

Late April
to
Early October

N/A

Spruce Tree House

Early November
to
Early March

Early March
to
Early November

Long House

Memorial Day Weekend
to
Labor Day Weekend

N/A

Step House

N/A

Memorial Day Weekend
to
Labor Day Weekend

 

Tickets for guided-tours must be purchased in person at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center. Both guided and self-guided tours are strenuous. For more information on these tours, or to see a park schedule, please use the links at right.

 
Separation bar with triangles
 

Know Before You Go

Visiting a cliff dwelling can be strenuous. The cliff dwellings are at 7,000 foot (2134 m) elevation. Please consider your physical health before hiking or going on tours.

Trails are steep and uneven, with steps and ladders. Visiting cliff dwellings or hiking is not recommended for those with heart or respiratory problems.

Children on Tours
Parents, please watch your children at all times - especially on trails, in the cliff dwellings, and near canyon rims. Although there are no height or age restrictions for tours, children must be capable of walking the extent of the trails, climbing ladders, and negotiating steps independently. All infants must be carried in backpacks while on tours and adults carrying children in backpacks must be able to maintain mobility and balance.

Judgment
Your safety depends on your own good judgment, adequate preparation, and constant attention. Learn about the physical nature of the tours BEFORE you go. This information is on the website, in the visitor guide handout, at the visitor center, and described by rangers before selling tour tickets and leading the tours. Don't ruin your vacation by having an accident. Your safety is your responsibility.

Did You Know?

A view from Park Point overlook

Park Point, the highest elevation in the park (8427 ft/2569 m), has a 360 degree panoramic view that is considered one of the grandest in the country.