Service Animals

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service animals that have been individually trained to perform specific task(s) for the benefit of an individual with a disability are allowed to go anywhere you are allowed to go in the park. The tasks performed by the animal must be directly related to the person’s disability.

Therapy, companion, or comfort animals are not service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act and may not access visitor centers, trails or other non-motorized areas. Owners of service dogs must comply with pet waste and restraint regulations, unless restraint specifically interferes with the task the dog is trained to perform.

Pet owners violating park regulations may be cited, fined, and/or issued a mandatory appearance before the United States Magistrate Court.

For information on animals that do not qualify as service animals, please see our information on pets in the park.

For cliff dwelling tours, please carefully read tour descriptions to ensure that your service animal is capable of accompanying you on tours that involve climbing ladders. On tours with ladders, service animals must be carried in a pack or able to climb ladders on their own. Visitors need to have both hands free for climbing ladders.

Some service-animal friendly sites include:

  • Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center
  • Mesa Verde Museum
  • Spruce Tree House Overlook
  • Step House on Wetherill Mesa (accessed via a steep, partially unpaved trail).
  • Cliff Palace Loop
  • Mesa Top Loop
  • Far View Sites
A service animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless (1) these devices interfere with the service animal’s work, or (2) the individual’s disability prevents them from using these devices. In those cases, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective means.

Last updated: September 3, 2023

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330



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