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Mesa Verde National Park

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Overview

Mesa Verde National Park offers a dramatic glimpse into the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived in the area between 600 AD to 1300 AD. Today, Mesa Verde, which translates to Green Table, preserves nearly 5,000 archeological sites, 600 of which are cliff dwellings. These are some of the most important and well-preserved archeological sites in the United States, and visitors are certain to be impressed by these amazing structures and historic remnants. The park's rich culture and impressive history is also complemented by the natural beauty of the landscape.

To learn more about Mesa Verde National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Center:
The Mesa Verde Visitor Center is open daily, year round with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Hours of operation vary by season.

  • January to early April: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Early April to late May: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Late May to early September: 7:30 am to 7 pm
  • Early September to early November: 8 am to 5 pm
  • Early November to late December: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Visiting Tips

Mesa Verde National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Recreational opportunities vary by season as some of the park's services, programs, and areas are open seasonally. For current hours of operation and more information on seasonal closures, visit the park's website.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, click here.

Camping & Lodging

Camping:
Full-service camping and services are open from early May to mid-October at the Morefield Campground and Village. Primitive camping is also offered seasonally. For more information about camping in the park, click here. Morefield Campground has 267 sites. Reservations can be made online.

Lodging:
For visitors looking for lodging within the park, the Far View Lodge, which is located 15 miles from the park entrance and just six miles from the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, is open mid-April to mid-October. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-449-2288 or online.

Food & Drink

The park offers several restaurants and cafes. Enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at the Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe, a gourmet meal at the Metate Room Restuarant, classic and local fare at the Far View Terrace Restaurant, or a quick bite at the Knife Edge Cafe. All restaurants in the park are open during the summer months, and the Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe is open year-round.

Other Activities

Visitors to Mesa Verde are sure to be amazed by the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people. No less impressive is the beautiful landscape of southwest Colorado. In the summer, visitors can choose from a variety of activities including enjoying a picnic, taking a scenic drive along Mesa Top Loop Road, exploring the trails, and bird and wildlife watching. In the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular. Also, be sure to check out the great opportunities for mountain biking in Cortez, and rock climbing in the nearby town of Durango.

Gems in Mesa Verde National Park - 6

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Cliff Palace.

Cliff Palace

(16) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Balcony House.

Balcony House

(11) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Long House, from the end of the trail.

Long House

(5) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Petroglyphs on the Mesa Verde Petroglyph Point Trail.

Petroglyph Panel at Petroglyph Point

(11) Towaoc, CO
gem Favorite Coyote Village.

Far View Sites

(12) Cortez, CO
gem Favorite Ancient ruins.

Spruce Tree House

(8) Towaoc, CO

Recommended Routes in Mesa Verde National Park - 5

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Recommended Routes

Favorite Ancient ruins.
Intermediate Intermediate

Petroglyph Point Trail

2.2 mi 3.6 km 428' Up 130.47 m Up 169' Down 51.48 m Down

Towaoc, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Long House, from the end of the trail.
Intermediate Intermediate

Long House Tour

2.2 mi 3.6 km 236' Up 71.86 m Up 241' Down 73.43 m Down

Towaoc, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite Balcony House.
Intermediate Intermediate

Balcony House Trail

0.4 mi 0.7 km 80' Up 24.43 m Up 81' Down 24.8 m Down

Towaoc, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite The park road winds beneath you on the hill top. This gives you an idea of how hilly the area is.
Intermediate Intermediate

Point Lookout Trail

1.1 mi 1.7 km 527' Up 160.75 m Up 10' Down 3.16 m Down

Mancos, CO
Explore in 3D
Favorite View into the valley.
Intermediate Intermediate

Prater Ridge Trail

7.5 mi 12.1 km 979' Up 298.47 m Up 976' Down 297.61 m Down

Mancos, CO
Explore in 3D

Mesa Verde National Park Running

  • 14 Miles 22 Kilometers of Trail
  • 5 Recommended Routes
  • 6 Gems Gems
  • 15 Easy Trails Easy Trails
  • 14 Intermediate Trails Intermediate Trails
  • 0 Difficult Trails Difficult Trails
Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Share what you know about this area!

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Trails in Mesa Verde National Park - 24

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Trails

0.3 mi 0.5 km #1Cliff Palace Overlook Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO 12 
0.3 mi 0.5 km #2Long House Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
0.6 mi 1.0 km #3Far View Sites Loop
Easy Easy
Cortez, CO
Easy Easy
Cortez, CO
0.4 mi 0.6 km #4Spruce Tree House Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
0.8 mi 1.3 km #5Step House Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
0.6 mi 1.0 km #6Nordenskiold Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
1.0 mi 1.7 km #7Knife Edge Trail
Easy Easy
Mancos, CO
Easy Easy
Mancos, CO
0.4 mi 0.7 km #8Farming Terrace Trail
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
2.3 mi 3.7 km #9Spruce Canyon Trail
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
Intermediate Intermediate
Towaoc, CO
0.7 mi 1.1 km #10Soda Canyon Overlook Trail
Easy Easy
Towaoc, CO
Easy Easy
Towaoc, CO

Photos of Mesa Verde National Park - 97

Trail Run Project is built by runners like you. Add Your Photos

Montezuma Overlook
Oct 1, 2015 near Cortez, CO
Cliff Palace.
Jan 21, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Mesa Verde.
Jan 21, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Ancient ruins.
Mar 31, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Petroglyphs on the Mesa Verde Petroglyph Point Trail.
Apr 14, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
Long House, from the end of the trail.
Apr 21, 2016 near Towaoc, CO
The park road winds beneath you on the hill top. This gives you an idea of how hilly the area is.
Jul 12, 2021 near Mancos, CO
Square Tower House, Mesa Verde
May 9, 2022 near Towaoc, CO

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