Far View Community Sites

Looking across the tops of several low, ancient stone-masonry walls, both square and round.
Looking across Pipe Shrine House at Far View House

NPS/Sandy Groves

Quick Facts
Four miles (6.4 km) north of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum
Long before and even after the famous cliff dwellings were built, this area was a well-established Ancestral Puebloan farming community supporting dozens of families.

Benches/Seating, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead

The Far View area was once an extensive farming community and one of the most densely populated regions of the Mesa Verde. This mesa top community includes Far View House, Pipe Shrine House, Coyote Village, Far View Reservoir (currently dry), Megalithic House, and Far View Tower. In ancient times, it was a place of modest homes interspersed with small farm fields. It was a place filled with people, vibrant life, and constant change. 

Beginning around 800 CE, Ancestral Pueblo people lived here for several centuries, farming the deep mesa-top soils, building their homes, and raising their families. This was not always a quiet woodland. On a summer day in 1050 this ancient community would have been filled with the smell of juniper smoke and the sounds of everyday life: conversations between people working together, barking dogs, laughing children, ravens calling overhead, and the wind rustling through the shiny corn leaves. In the mid-1100s, there may have been at least 35 occupied villages and surrounding farm and garden plots within a half-square-mile area, including those you can visit today. 

The archeological evidence at Far View reveal the presence of thriving mesa top communities long before the existence of the more famous cliff dwellings. But they also help disclose another, little known fact. Not everyone ultimately moved into and lived in the cliff dwellings. Some families clearly chose to remain on the mesa top, like those at Far View, well after many of their neighbors moved into cliff alcoves. 

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 800 to 1300 CE. Take a step back in time and imagine corn (maize), beans, and squash plants sprinkled along the landscape.

Trail Data

  •  0.75 miles (1.2 km) loop (unpaved, level trail)
  • Open 8:00 am to sunset
  • Parking is limited to vehicles under 25 feet

For Your Safety

  • Dehydration and altitude sickness are common problems at Mesa Verde. Drink water and rest often.
  • Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day.
  • While hiking, remain on the trail and avoid walking along unstable cliff edges.
  • Pets and bicycles are not allowed on the trail.
  • Please respect wildlife by observing them from a distance.

This community is more than 750 years old. Please do your part to protect it for all to visit and enjoy.

Mesa Verde National Park

Last updated: January 11, 2024