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

    Mesa Verde

    National Park Colorado

Winter Activities: Guided Hikes

Southwest Colorado Winter Ecology Series, 2013-2014

Mesa Verde National Park, San Juan Mountains Association, and the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society have teamed up to offer a series of winter hikes during the 2013-2014 winter season. Come enjoy the outdoors during this special time of year while exploring the local winter ecology. See below for hike descriptions, dates, and times. (Hikes may be rescheduled due to inclement weather.) If you have questions or want to sign up for a hike, use the information below to contact the appropriate organization.

Snowshoes and poles will be available during each hike for those who need them.

 

JANUARY, 2014

Surviving the Snow Season - The Trees of Winter at La Plata Canyon
San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)
Thursday, January 2
10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Join the San Juan Mountains Association and learn how different trees survive the winter and discover what animals depend on these trees for their own survival.

  • For adults and ages 4 and up accompanied by an adult.
  • For directions, contact SJMA or visit www.SJMA.org and click on Education.
  • Advance reservations requested. For information or reservations, contact MK Thompson at 970-385-1288.


Plant & Animal Adaptations at Morefield Campground
Mesa Verde National Park
Saturday, January 11
9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Park biologists and interpretive rangers will lead a hike to explore the amazing ways that animals and plants survive in the cold winter environment of Mesa Verde National Park. The hike will tour the winter habitats of plants and animals in the Morefield Campground area.

  • Limited to 20 people, ages 7 to adult.
  • Meet at the Morefield Village parking lot at Morefield Campground, 4 miles from the park entrance.
  • Advance reservations required. For reservations contact the Chapin Mesa Archeologial Museum at 970-529-4631.


Sensing Winter at Boggy Draw, Dolores
San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)
Saturday, January 18
10:00 am to 12:00 noon

How can you sense winter? Smell, see, hear, feel, and taste the coldest of the seasons during this fun family exploration.

  • For ages 4 and up, accompanied by an adult.
  • Meet at the Boggy Draw parking lot. For directions, contact SJMA or visit www.SJMA.org and click on Education.
  • Advance reservations requested. For information or reservations, contact Gabi Morey at 970-385-1256.
 

FEBRUARY 2014

Critter Curosity at Chris Park, North of Durango on Hwy 550
San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)
Saturday, February 1
10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Search for signs of life in the winter stillness. Look closely, and you will realize that life lives on in the cold and snow of winter.

  • For ages 4 and up, accompanied by an adult.
  • For directions, contact SJMA or visit www.SJMA.org and click on Education.
  • Advance reservations requested. For information or reservations, contact MK Thompson at 970-385-1288.


Winter Festival at Morefield Campground Store (Cancelled)
Mesa Verde National Park
Saturday, February 8 and 15
Sorry, but due to insufficient snow, activities for both days have been cancelled.

Join Mesa Verde for it's 2nd annual winter festival. This year, the event is split between two Saturdays in February. Events include a fun cross-country ski race, animal track hike, fire starting, atlatl throwing, and moonlight hike. Check back here or watch for flyers and public service announcements for more information.


Become a Junior Snow Ranger at Chicken Creek Cross-Country Area, Mancos
San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)
Saturday, February 22
10:00 am to 12:00 noon

Become a Forest Service Junior Snow Ranger during this winter adventure! Discover animal tracks, examine plants, and conduct snow experiments to receive your official Jr. Snow Ranger booklet and badge!

  • For ages 4 and up, accompanied by an adult.
  • Meet at Chicken Creek Cross-Country area, County Road 40, Mancos. For directions, contact SJMA or visit www.SJMA.org and click on Education.
  • Advance reservations requested. For information or reservations, contact Gabi Morey at 970-385-1256.
 

MARCH 2014

Winter Plant Identification Hike at Mesa Verde National Park
San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society
Saturday, March 1
9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Winter months strip many plants of their foliage and make winter identification of these plants difficult. Join the San Juan/Four Corners Native Plant Society on a winter plant identification hike in Mesa Verde National Park to learn how to identify plants in the winter.

  • Limited to 15 people. Recommended for high school age to adult.
  • Advance reservations required. For information and reservations contact Al Schneider at 970-882-4647.

 

For information on self-guided snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities in Mesa Verde National Park, visit this page. Snowshoes are available for loan any time during the winter at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center.

Did You Know?

Baron Gustaf Nordenskiold

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.