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Contact: Kristy Sholly, 970-529-4465
Mesa Verde, CO – The Wetherill Mesa area of Mesa Verde National Park will be closed for the 2023 season to accommodate the demolition and construction of a new visitor contact station in the Wetherill area. The existing contact station was damaged by the Pony Fire in August 2000 and needs to be replaced. The lightning-caused Pony Fire devastated many of the day-use facilities in the Wetherill area that year and burned 1,352 acres, but no ancestral sites were damaged.
Demolition of the current structure is expected to begin in late April and will involve the removal of large amounts of concrete and steel. Material staging and construction will occur in visitor use areas large truck traffic will be on the narrow roadway resulting in visitor safety concerns.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in time to open the Wetherill Mesa area to visitors in July. Late winter snowfall will delay contractor access to the site. Additionally, the manufacturing and delivery schedule for the new structure has been delayed by many weeks. Construction of the new contact station may not be complete until late October.
After much discussion regarding safety and the quality of visitor experience, the decision was made to not open Wetherill Mesa to the public in 2023. An additional large waterline replacement project may extend the Wetherill closure through 2024. Visitors and those making travel plans are encouraged to check for closures and alerts on the park website at www.nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/closures.htm.
Last updated: March 20, 2023