Mesa Verde National Park Road Trip Info

Visit Mesa Verde National Park

If your road trip through Colorado includes the southwest corner, an overnight stop at Mesa Verde National Park is well worth it (map). This spectacular National Park offers a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people, whose communities developed cliff dwellings and mesa-top villages and lived there for over 700 years. These spectacular cliff dwellings and villages were built between 550 and 1300 A.D. Today, Mesa Verde National Park protects almost 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Visitors may walk, drive, or take a bus tour through the Park. Hiking and climbing ladders in and out of cliff dwellings are available or walk through less rigorous self-guided routes. The suggested visitation time for the Park is two days.

While in the area, check out:

  • Mancos State Park is just 12+ miles north of the National Park. It offers camping and a beautiful lake.
  • The Aztec ruins, south of Durango, are slightly off the beaten path, but another great stop to add to your trip through southwest Colorado.
  • If heading to Durango, plan a scenic train ride on the D&SNGRR.

Mesa Verde National Park, cliff dwellings

Guided Cliff Dwelling Tours

Ranger-guided cliff dwelling tours are available beginning in April and continuing through October. Tickets for these tours are $4 and can be purchased at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez and the Visitor Research Center at the entrance to the Park. Tickets can only be purchased up to two days in advance, so to get on the tour of your choice, purchase your tickets in advance. Learn more about other State and National Parks in Colorado.

Mesa Verde National Park, lodging

The National Park Service provides lodging for park visitors at the Far View Lodge. The lodge is located in the park's center, about 15 miles from the entrance. It looks south over Mesa Verde into Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. The lodge is open seasonally, spring through fall. The lodge amenities are modern and include WiFi, dining, a gift shop, and vehicle hookups. cliff dwellings view Mesa Verde National Park

Camping at Mesa Verde National Park

The Morefield campground is just 4.5 miles from the park entrance. It offers RV and tent camping sites and offers various activities and facilities.

Road Trip to Mesa Verde National Park

Southwest Colorado is a wonderful place to include in your road trip through Colorado. It's beaconing your stay with abundant historical sites, beautiful landscapes, and ample camping and lodging. In southwest Colorado, spring and fall are especially beautiful, providing otherwise "off-season" vacation getaways.

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