Step House

On Wetherill Mesa (map), Self-Guided, No Fee Required

View of Step House
Step House
Separator bar with triangles in color
View of pithouse reconstruction in the Step House alcove.
Pithouse reconstruction
Step House is unique because there is clear evidence of two separate occupations in the same site. A Modified Basketmaker site, dating to A.D. 626, is situated between the old stone steps on the south and the large boulders on the north. The rest of the alcove contains a masonry pueblo dating to Classic Pueblo times (A.D. 1226).
Step House
Step House

Step House is a free, self-guided cliff dwelling. The one-mile trail is steep (a 100 foot descent and ascent on a winding path). Your time in the site is self-paced so you can enter and exit at your leisure. There is a ranger on duty in the dwelling to answer questions. For hours, visit Operating Hours & Seasons.

Allow approximately 45 minutes to visit Step House. The sites on Wetherill Mesa provide for much quieter and slower paced visit. It is worthwhile to spend at least half a day on Wetherill Mesa. It usually takes 3 to 4 hours to visit the Wetherill sites, but can easily take longer if someone wants to take advantage of all the walking and bicycle trails in the area. If you plan to also take a hiking tour of Long House, make sure to purchase a tour ticket before driving to Wetherill Mesa.


The trailhead to Step House is near the Wetherill Mesa information kiosk, a 12-mile (19 km) drive along the Wetherill Mesa Road. This steep, winding road leaves the main park road just beyond Far View Lodge, near mile marker 15. Allow approximately 45 minutes for this drive. Vehicle length is restricted to 25 feet or less.

Wetherill Mesa is open seasonally. Check Operating Hours & Seasons for times.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330


(970) 529-4465
Main park phone number.

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