Spruce Tree House Overlook

Looking across narrow canyon at ancient, stone-masonry village tucked in an alcove.
View of Spruce Tree House from Overlook


Quick Facts
Two overlooks are located near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum

Accessible Sites, Benches/Seating, Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Parking - Auto, Parking - Bus/RV, Recycling, Restroom, Restroom - Accessible, Restroom - Family, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Flush, Trash/Litter Receptacles, Water - Drinking/Potable, Wheelchair Accessible

Spruce Tree House, the third largest cliff dwelling in the park (only Cliff Palace and Long House are larger), was constructed in the 1200s by ancestors of the Pueblo peoples of the Southwest. As the best-preserved cliff dwelling, much of the wood, walls, and plaster that you see from the overlook is original material. By the late 1270s, up to 19 households (60 to 80 people) lived here.

Tucked into the cliff above are ten storage rooms for storing surplus corn, beans, squash and wild plants. The storage rooms, called granaries, were reached using ladders and pecked hand-and-toe hold trails. The doors were sealed with stone slabs to deter rodents and to keep supplies dry. 

Spruce Tree House is currently closed due to danger of rock fall, but you can view the site from two overlooks near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Please stay on the trail and avoid cliff edges.

By the Numbers
Rooms: 131 rooms (including surrounding granaries), 8 kivas
Age: 1200 - 1280 CE
Estimated Population: 60-80 people
Alcove Dimensions: 216 ft. W x 30 ft. H. x 89 ft. D

Mesa Verde National Park

Last updated: December 20, 2022