Restrictions on hiking in Mesa Verde National Park are necessary to protect the fragile and irreplaceable archeological sites and artifacts for which the park was established. Hiking is only permitted around developed areas and on designated trails. Visitors found hiking away from these areas, or entering cliff dwellings when not accompanied by a uniformed National Park Service ranger, are subject to penalties provided for in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
•Consider your physical health BEFORE hiking. All trails, except the Soda Canyon trail, are strenuous with steep elevation changes.
•You will be hiking in areas from 7000 to 8572 feet (2130 to 2613 meters) in elevation.
•Hikers are advised to carry and drink plenty of water, especially during the summer months.
•Please stay away from cliff edges as undercut overhangs are dangerous.
•Trails can be muddy and slippery after summer rains and winter snow. Proper footwear is recommended.
•Visitors with health problems should be warned that all trails, except the Soda Canyon trail, are strenuous with steep elevation changes.
•Pets are not allowed on park trails, except on designated (and marked) trails on Wetherill Mesa.