Mesa Top Loop Road

Four images that include housing styles from stone-masonry villages to wood and mud roofed shelters
Top: Square Tower House, Lower Left: Pithouse, Lower Center: Sun Temple, Lower Right: Cliff Palace.

Quick Facts
20 miles (32.2 km) beyond the park entrance
The Ancestral Pueblo people did not always live in cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. For the first 600 years they lived on the mesa top. As you take a tour along the Mesa Top Loop, you will see the full development of architecture and housing styles from pithouse, to pueblo, and finally to cliff dwelling.

Accessible Sites, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Pets Allowed, Recycling, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Wheelchair Accessible

The 6-mile (10 km) Mesa Top Loop takes you through 700 years of Ancestral Pueblo history. From remains of early pithouses and masonry villages to multi-storied cliff dwellings, archeological sites along this loop show how early Pueblo architecture evolved. Archeology and Pueblo oral histories shed light on what life may have been like for people who lived, worked, and raised families here for generations.

Along the road, you’ll find short, easily-accessible paved trails to view twelve archeological sites. Short trails along the Mesa Top Loop lead to surface sites such as pithouses and pueblos; overlooks of cliff dwellings tucked into alcoves; and viewpoints where you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape that was home to generations of Ancestral Pueblo people.

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.

Download the audio tour, A Pueblo Perpective on Mesa Verde, and listen along in your car as you drive the Mesa Top Loop, or on your phone as you explore the ten stops along the way.

Mesa Verde National Park

Last updated: April 5, 2024