Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
P.O. Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado 81330
Mesa Verde National Park preserves the cliff dwellings and surface sites of the Anasazi, or ancestral Puebloan people, who lived in the area between 500 and 1300. Mesa Verde means "green table" in Spanish.
Fourteen centuries of history are displayed at Mesa Verde National Park, a world center for exploring the ancient culture of the Ancestral Puebloan people. Established by Congress in 1906, Mesa Verde is the first national park set aside in order to preserve the work of humankind. In 1978, UNESCO, an organization formed by the United Nations to preserve and protect the cultural and natural heritage of international sites, designated Mesa Verde as a World Cultural Heritage Park.
The content of this page was accurate on the date of its posting; it may have changed since that time. We recommend that you contact local authorities for current information. Our pages are only intended as a beginning to your journey.
Ranges from 6,400 feet in the deep canyons to 8,500 feet at Park Point.
See the Parks Fees and Reservations page.
- Entrance road open daily.
- Cliff dwelling loop drive open daily from 7:00 a.m. to sunset.
- Cliff Palace/Balcony House Loop open only for cross-country skiing or walking in Winter.
- Cliff Palace is generally open from April through October.
- Balcony House is open from mid-May through mid-October.
- Wetherill Mesa Road is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, daily, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- The Visitor Center is open from April through October, daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- See the Parks Operating Hours and Seasons page.
Visitor center, museum, amphitheaters, kiosk, gas station, gift shops, laundry, picnic areas with grates, post office, campground, showers, and groceries.
The Park entrance is midway between Cortez and Mancos on US 160. It is 21 miles from the entrance to the museum and the Chapin Mesa ruins area. The Morefield Campground is 4 miles from the entrance. The Far View Visitor Center is 15 miles from the entrance.
Map Coordinates (NAD83): 37 14.472 N; 108 28.48 W
The Park's best weather is in May, September, and October.
Regulations and Precautions
- No pets in cliff dwellings or on trails. Leashed pets elsewhere.
- Trailers and towed vehicles are not permitted beyond Morefield Campground. All towed vehicles must be parked at the entrance parking area or the Morefield Village parking area.
- Smoking is restricted to the parking areas.
- Hiking in Mesa Verde National Park is restricted and allowed only on designated trails. Visitors may not enter cliff dwellings unless accompanied by a uniformed park ranger.
- Do not sit, stand, climb, or lean on fragile archaeological structures.
- Plan ahead for guided tours, which require advance tickets from the Far View Visitor Center.
- Backcountry Considerations
- Backcountry Emergencies
- Encountering Wild Animals
- National Park Service Restrictions and Regulations
- Pets in the Parks and Backcountry
Archaeological Resources Protection Act Hotline: 800-227-7286.