Self-Guided Tours

There are plenty of cultural sites to explore on your own. Some are open year-round, while others are open seasonally. Please see a Visitor Guide for specific dates and times.

 

CHAPIN MESA

 
Spruce Tree House from overlook
Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House
Best-Preserved Cliff Dwelling
You can enjoy wonderful views of Spruce Tree House from viewpoints near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum year-round.

Due to continued safety concerns related to rock falls, the site remains closed for the foreseeable future. Overlooks near the museum offer superb views of the cliff dwelling.

 
Exhibit on the Mesa Top Loop
Mesa Top Loop Road Exhibit

Mesa Top Loop Road
Auto Tour - 700 Years of Mesa Verde History
The Mesa Top Loop Road is a 6-mile (10 km) drive that is a tour through time. Along the road, you’ll find short, easily-accessible paved trails to view twelve archeological sites, including surface sites and overlooks of cliff dwellings—the ancient homes and villages of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here for more than 700 years.

Highlights include Square Tower House Overlook, and views of Cliff Palace from Sun Point View and Sun Temple. The Mesa Top Loop Road is open daily, 8:00 am to sunset.

 
Spiral petroglyph at Pipe Shrine House in Far View Sites
Petroglyph at Pipe Shrine House in Far View Sites

Far View Sites Complex
Five Mesa Top Villages & Far View Reservior
This mesa top community includes Far View House, four other villages, and a dry reservoir. In ancient times, the community was a place of modest homes interspersed with small farm fields. It was a place filled with people, vibrant life, and constant change. As you follow the woodland trail among the six sites, read the trailside signs to learn about Ancestral Pueblo life in the surrounding landscape between 900 to 1300 CE. The level, unpaved ¾-mile trail (1.2 km) is open 8:00 am to sunset. Parking is limited to vehicles under 25 feet.

 
View of Cedar Tree Tower
Cedar Tree Tower
Cedar Tree Tower
Mesa Top Tower and Kiva
An Ancestral Puebloan tower and kiva complex can be viewed from a small parking area. Nearby is the 0.5-mile (0.8 km) Farming Terrace Loop trail that leads you through a series of ancient check dams built by the Ancestral Pueblo people. Open 8:00 am to sunset.
 

WETHERILL MESA

(The Wetherill Mesa Area is temporarily closed)
 
View of Step House
Step House

Step House
Pithouse, Petroglyphs and Cliff Dwelling
A 100 foot (30 m) descent and ascent on a winding path. Total walking distance is about one mile (1.6 km) round-trip. Allow 45 minutes to one hour. Trail begins near the Wetherill Mesa Kiosk. Please check here for current schedule.

 
Exhibit along the Badger House Trail
Badger House Trail Exhibit

Badger House Trail
Trail to Four Mesa Top Sites
The 2.25 mile (3.6 km) round-trip trail through Badger House Community surface sites begins at Wetherill Mesa Kiosk. Your walk through this area is a journey through 600 years of prehistory. Combination graveled and paved trail. Available early May to late October.

 
 

Last updated: May 22, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330

Phone:

970-529-4465

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