Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the park open?
A. Mesa Verde National Park is open year round. The Operating Hours & Seasons page gives you more detailed seasonal information and park schedules.

Q. Where can I see a cliff dwelling?
A. Once you enter the park, your first view of a cliff dwelling is 21 miles (34 km) or approximately 45 minutes, along a steep, narrow, winding mountain road. Depending on weather, traffic, and road construction, plan at least two hours just to drive into and out of the park. The drive is scenic with a number pull-offs and overlooks that provide spectacular views into four states.

Q. May I go into a cliff dwelling?
A. You may visit a cliff dwelling on a ranger-guided tour. Tours are offered seasonally, mid-April to mid-May. Most tours require a ticket, which can be purchased online at For more information, visit Purchasing Tour Tickets.

Q. Are young children allowed on cliff dwelling tours?
A. There are no age or height restrictions for tours, but children must be capable of walking the extent of steep 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. We suggest you learn about the physical nature of your desired tour(s) BEFORE you go on one. This information is provided in the visitor guide handouts, at the visitor center, when you purchase or pick up your tour ticket, is on the Guided Tours web page. You are also welcome to ask a ranger!

Q. When is Wetherill Mesa open?
A. Wetherill Mesa, known as the quieter side of Mesa Verde, is open from mid-May through the end of October. However, it has two seasonal operations, spring/fall and summer. There are no services in the spring and fall, but the trails are open for hiking and bicycling. In the summer, Wetherill Mesa is fully staffed and both cliff dwellings (Step House and Long House) are open. Step House is open for self-guided tours and Long House is open for ranger-guided tours. Please note: The 12-mile (19 km) Wetherill Mesa Road is not suitable for large RVs or bicycles. Vehicles must be less than 25 feet (7.6 m) long and 8,000 lbs GVW.

For specific hours of operation, please check out the current visitor service schedule. For more information about visiting Wetherill Mesa, please see the Wetherill Mesa Visitor Guide.

Q. Does the campground take reservations?
A. Reservations are accepted for camp sites. Morefield Campground is located inside the park and operated by Aramark.

Q. What lodging is available in the area?
A. Far View Lodge, located inside the park and operated by Aramark, has rooms available from mid-April through mid-October. For further information and/or reservations for the lodge can be made by calling (800) 449-2288 or (970) 529-4421. Lodging is also widely available through the Cortez, Mancos, Dolores, and Durango areas. Click on the Mesa Verde Country® website for more information.

Q. What dining facilities are available in the park?
A. Spruce Tree Terrace, across from the Chapin Mesa Museum, is open daily (only closed on Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Years Day.) Sandwiches, salads, burgers and specials are offered. Far View Terrace is open daily early-May through mid-October. It is a full service cafeteria offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Metate Room, at the Far View Lodge, is open for fine dining (casual dress) from mid-April to late October. The Knife Edge Cafe, located in Morefield Campground, is open early May through early September. For specifics, visit Where To Eat. Dining facilities are operated by Aramark.

Q. Are pets allowed in the park?
A. Pets are allowed in the park on a very limited basis. They are allowed in parking lots and in the campground but must be leashed and under your physical control at all times. They are NOT allowed in archeological site, in buildings, or on most park trails. (Service animals are always welcome; therapy animals are subject to pet restrictions.) There are some pet-friendly trails at Wetherill Mesa and the Mesa Top Loop, but please clean up after your pet. For your pet’s sake, do not leave them in your vehicle without proper ventilation and water, and only when temperatures are not hazardous to their health. There is a kenneling facility available in the park, as well as some in our local communities. For more information, go to the Pets Page.

Last updated: April 19, 2024

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330



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