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.
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.
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
Did You Know?
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.