Guided Tours

Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House can only be visited by taking a ranger-guided tour which are very popular. A tour of Long House, on Wetherill Mesa, can be taken on the same day as a Cliff Palace or Balcony House tour. Tours are strenuous.

There are no height or age restrictions for tours, but children must be capable of walking the extent of the 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.

Tour tickets for Balcony House, Cliff Palace, and Long House must be purchased in person. Tour tickets sell out quickly, but can be purchased up to two days in advance. Please visit Purchasing Tour Tickets, to find out where tour tickets are sold. You can also visit 2017 Special Backcountry Hikes to learn about other opportunities available during your visit.


Please see the park schedule to learn when the following tours are available.

 
CHAPIN MESA
 
Tour at Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace
Mesa Verde's Largest Cliff Dwelling
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing five, 8-10 foot (2.6-3m) ladders, on a 100 foot (30m) vertical climb. Total walking distance is about 1/4-mile (400m), round-trip. The tour begins at Cliff Palace Overlook, an 23-mile (37km), one-hour drive from the Visitor and Research Center.

Please check here for current tour schedule. Visit Purchasing Tour Tickets to find out where tour tickets are sold.

 
View of courtyard in Balcony House
Balcony House

Balcony House
Adventurous Cliff Dwelling Tour
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing a 32-foot ladder, crawling through a 12-foot long tunnel, and climbing up a 60-foot (20m) open rock face with two 10-foot (3m) ladders to exit the site. The tour begins at the Balcony House parking area, a 25-mile (40.2km), 1-1/4 hour drive from the Visitor Center.

Please check here for current schedule. Visit Purchasing Tour Tickets to find out where tour tickets are sold.

 
Cliff Palace in twilight
Cliff Palace in twilight

Twilight Photography Tours
Photographers, here is a chance to spend 90 minutes in Cliff Palace with a park ranger in a small group setting. Dramatic sunset lighting will appeal to both amateur and professional photographers. Please check here for current schedules.
•Tour is limited to 15 people
•$20.00 per person (Tickets can be purchased in advance, online at www.recreation.gov or by phoning the call center at 1-877-444-6777.)

 
WETHERILL MESA

 
Visitors on a ranger-guided tour of Long House
Long House

Long House
Mesa Verde's Most In-Depth Tour
Starting at the Wetherill Mesa information kiosk, this two-hour ranger-guided tour involves hiking at least 2.25 miles (3.6km) round-trip, and climbing two 15-foot (4.5m) ladders within the site. The hike has an elevation gain of about 130 feet (40m). The tour ends at the Long House trailhead, giving you the choice of returning to the kiosk or exploring more of Wetherill Mesa on your own. Allow about 2.5 hours (total) for tour and return to kiosk. Please check here for current schedule. Visit Purchasing Tour Tickets to find out where tour tickets are sold.


The Wetherill Mesa information kiosk is a 12-mile (19km) drive along the Wetherill Mesa Road (begins near mile marker 15). Allow 1-1/4 hours to drive to the kiosk from the Visitor and Research Center. Vehicles over 25-feet (8m) long are prohibited on this road.

 
Aramark Leisure (Park Concession)

 

Half-Day Guided Bus Tours
Mid-April to mid-October

Mesa Verde National Park concessioner, Aramark Leisure, conducts guided bus tours that offer modern views of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Tours include the 700 Years and Far View Explorer Tours. Tickets may be purchased at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center, Far View Lodge and Terrace, and Morefield Campground. For more information about the bus tours, please visit the Aramark Leisure website.

Last updated: May 26, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330

Phone:

(970) 529-4465

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