Explore Cortez/Mesa Verde - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Cortez/Mesa Verde Map
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Very easy and it is very interesting. Cool views and amazing history.

Guided tour. Amazing place :-)

2 days ago

It was one of our favorite national Park hikes. The hike guide book provided at the museum near the trailhead was helpful to learn about things along the hike. Super fun with a few narrow squeezes through rocks along the trail, cool caves, great grippy sandstone, a juniper forest, thousands year old history, etc.

I participated the tour. It's so funny. It's a good experience to climbing the ladder and pass through the narrow holes to enter the house.

This was or favorite hike at Mesa Verde. Beautiful views. Took our kids (4&6) and they did great. The views going down were my favorite but the top is cool too. We went in April and had the entire mountain to ourselves.

Be warned, this trail tour does involve a pretty tall ladder climb (guide said it’s about 3 stories) and then a few more ladder climbs and a crowd tunnel at the end. Other wise it was cool and not hard at all.

This trail was a bit challenging but very pretty. I was very happy we chose to do it.

hiking
18 days ago

Decent trail. Did just the North loop. First mile is overlooking the paved roads of the camping area. First good view doesn't occur until 1.7 miles in. Once you got around to the rim you had a nice view of the canyon, but also of the park road across the canyon. Saw plenty of signs of big horns, scat and tracks, but no sheep. Saw a few short horned lizards though.

Did this little trail to kill some time before our tour. It was kind of cool to see the vegetation regrowth after the forest fire 16 years ago.

hiking
21 days ago

Did this hike quick the first evening we got in to the campground. No one else was on the trail and it was nice leg stretch after being in the car all day. Not a must-do hike, but certainly a pleasant one if you have time. Mostly views of the surrounding area and little lizards scuttering around the trail.

hiking
21 days ago

Really enjoyed doing this longer tour, and that the dwelling did not have any other tour groups in it than ours. As with all the tours, it helps to know a little bit before you go - so if you can attend a ranger talk or watch the museum video first it does inform that actual cliff dwelling tours. We enjoyed this Long House tour more than the Balcony House tour. We also saw wild/trespassed (as they say) horses on our drive back.

After doing the 2-hour tour at Long House this one seemed pretty short, but was certainly enjoyable and had some fun ladders and tunnels to navigate. I liked that we had done Long House first, as we learned more in that one, and meant I could pick out more things seeing Balcony House on this quick tour.

hiking
21 days ago

Be aware the gate you pass through at the beginning of the hike is LOCKED once the "area closes" at 6:30pm so you cannot return the way you came, you must complete the full loop. There are signs that say they area closes, but not that the gate will be locked and you'll have to walk miles to get out another direction if you had decided to come back the way you came. Under normal circumstances, of course complete the loop and all is well, but if someone had a twisted ankle, bad weather pops up, people get dehydrated/tired, anything, it's a bit strange you can't go back the way you came if it was shorter. More furstrating, the two rangers sitting at the trailhead didn't take the time to tell us this as we started the trail at about 5:30pm (they just asked if we got the brochure identifying the plants), would have made our time a lot nicer as we did end up having to turn around and the ranger was yelling down to us that we were going the wrong way and she was needing to lock the gate as it was 6:25pm. Weird experience in a national park, and was concerned for some of the families with young children we saw out who were considering turning around, now that I know they wouldn't have been able to get out that way.

walking
24 days ago

Easy trail with beautiful views throughout. Took the kids and they enjoyed the petroglyphs and views of the ruins from afar.

hiking
24 days ago

Great trail. Had the place to ourselves. Nice rocky trail with plenty of switchbacks. The views at the top are spectacular.

Must do in Mesa Verde

WARNING! You need to purchase a ticket at the main visitors center to access this trail. Which you wouldn’t know unless you stopped at there on the way in and talked to a ranger. If you (like me) skip the visitors center and go straight for trails you would never know. There are no signs or information leading into the park to let you know this. We drove 27 miles to the trailhead just to be told “sorry but you are not allowed access to this trail without tickets, please drive 54 miles round trip to go get them). Which we were willing to do but by the time we made it back to the visitors center they were sold out of “tickets” till late in the afternoon (this was at 8:15am). If you’re not there by 7am don’t waste your times Tickets to go hiking? Never heard of this in my life. Terrible experience.

A nice hike going along the scenic canyons. The way has some elevation change and involves stepping over rocks. The way back after The petroglyphs is very easy and flat (you walk along the top of a canyon wall most of the way). Overall a pretty easy hike and it’s well worth it to see the ancient petroglyphs carved on the side of the canyon!

love the scenic trails.

hiking
1 month ago

Our ranger was entertaining and taught us about the history of the dwelling. The structures were beautiful, surprisingly well intact, and we were able to go onto the upper level of the dwelling and walk through it. The tour ends at the house, not the parking lot, so be sure to add in time to get back. This hike is much longer and more strenuous than the other guided tours.

scenic driving
1 month ago

There were plenty of stops on the road to see cliff dwellings, pit houses, and stunning canyon views, plus we saw a snake in the road that was around 5 FEET LONG!

Beautiful views of Soda Canyon. Ranger Jackie was very funny and informative. My mother was able to do the ladders and tunnels. Would rate hike as easy. Kivas and structures were stunning! So worth the $5. Also saw some hawks circling around the canyon!

walking
1 month ago

Simple trail, not much of a hike. Started in the morning on the way to Balcony House. Beautiful structures not far from each other. Saw a couple of deer. Great way to start the day. Parking is limited, but you get to walk right next to the buildings.

Good views. Fun hike. Last half is an easy stroll. Great hike to get acclimated. I would rate easy. Minimal elevation change and no real switchbacks or taxing terrain. Good for families

Easy walk for some pretty views. Overall not as scenic.

I took my four-year-old with me. The $5 is worth it. There is a 30ft ladder you climb followed by ruins followed by a tunnel you crawl through followed by two 15 ft ladders. I'd recommend watching the history video at the museum first.

Great hike for kids, lots of views!

Loved this trail so much a did it once in the evening and then the next morning for sunrise. Both times I had the trail all to myself which was nice.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike which gives you a sense of the landscape, not just the original dwellings. Enjoyed passing the dwellings and hugging the side of the drop off taking in great views until we switched directions and walked along the top. Not a difficult hike, but we started in the early mooning. Saw some recent graffiti, which was disappointing.

hiking
1 month ago

Not much of a hike, but a great informative tour of the dwellings. Some ladder use is required, but it is easy.

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