Explore 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.

Mesa Verde Map
VIEW FULL MAP

Neato!!

Easy out and back trail. Not much along the trail itself. A little up and down but not much. The view is so-so if you've just seen Cliff Palace, which we did so these ruins were not as spectacular. Then, some views of the canyons.

This was a cool hike if you want to hike in Mesa Verde, but we were expecting the petroglyphs to take up much more space. The hike itself was nice though. It is a loop trail. The first half is pretty moderate, but the second half I would say is pretty easy. If we get the chance to go back to Mesa Verde, we probably would choose a different hike with different views.

This hike is pretty easy, and it took less than 30 minutes. It has a good lookout to some of the dwellings.

The tour costs $5, but it was by far our favorite part of the entire day spent at Mesa Verde. My husband and I both agreed that the tour brought everything together and was a vital part of our visit. Kim, our ranger, was extremely knowledgeable. The hike itself is not difficult- the worst part is climbing the ladder.

A little challenging with the rock terrain at times but lots to see. The petroglyphs were fascinating!

Awesome views and great history

Took about an hour and 10 minutes. Was nice to see a different aspect of the park on this trail.

Super easy nice views of the dwellings. 20-30 min hike.

Costs extra money for tour hike. Guide was corny and It was shorter than I anticipated. Still a sweet time

hiking
6 months ago

Utter epicness

hiking
6 months ago

A moderate trail with guide booklets available at the beginning, pointing out well marked points of interest. The trail is quite rocky with several areas of narrow steep stairs. Hiking poles may be recommended for some. It is a loop trail, which is not clear in the booklet. Keep going after the petroglyphs, the trail will return you to the museum along the canyon floor. As with all sites in Mesa Verde, the climate can be hot and very dry. Take plenty of water.

6 months ago

closed

I loved the sense of adventure for this hike, but only wish it were longer! Lots of stairs, three ladders, and tiny tunnel but it all added to an amazing feel. Getting to see the structure up close and personal was something else entirely. Our ranger was amazing and really funny, so it added to the experience. We spent more time waiting for the other tour before us to clear out, but it gave us time to explore. Really worth the cost and time-- truly an amazing experience.

hiking
6 months ago

Dope views, hardest part is the switchbacks

hiking
7 months ago

Fantastic hike, with rewarding panel of petroglyphs at the (approximate) half-way point. It is a challenging trail with a few ascents/descents and switchbacks en route to the petroglyphs. Amazing geology and scenery throughout and a relatively easy walk back to the trailhead via the mesa-top.

We booked a Twilight Tour in advance ($20 each). It started at 6:45 after all other day tours had finished so we had the Cliff Palace all to ourselves for 1 and 1/2 hours. It was spectacular and the colors as the sun set were jaw dropping !! A not to be missed experience !! Steep and narrow steps to get in and a couple of ladders to climb to get out. Otherwise you are up close and personal with the ruins.

My favorite of all the dwellings

hiking
8 months ago

Great views. Ladders and chunky steps to climb

great views of Balcony House! not too much of a hike though, can for sure do this with kids

Great ranger-guided tour, I would recommend this tour over the others at Mesa Verde because Balcony House is the least visible from any other viewpoint in the park, so you can really only get a feel from it by going inside. I'm not afraid of heights but I can image this would be for someone who is, and the tunnels that you need to squeeze through at the end are pretty small and low down.

Little used trail that descends into a canyon, then climbs out. Can be done as a clockwise or counter clockwise loop. Total distance would be approximately three miles if start and finish are in the same place. My route started near the "Spruce Tree House" (this is the only ruin visible and is not far from the museum close to the rim; there are no ruins inside the canyon) and ended in a parking lot near the museum and was about 2.75 miles. Don't be deceived by the relatively short distance. This is not necessarily an "easy" hike, though many have characterized it as such. Total elevation gain was 602' and the climb out had a gain of 465' over 1.20 miles which is a 7.3% grade, not really difficult. However, the top section of .43 mile had 281' gain which is 12.4%. That's getting up there. And there are short steeper sections within this. You will struggle if you are not prepared for this climb. Strava rates the overall climb of 1.2 miles as a Category 4 climb, the easiest of four climb ratings, but be advised, there is really nothing easy about it. The descent that I made had a 9.3% grade over .83 mile and the trail was more smooth so it may be easier to do this in the other direction, i.e. counter clockwise. All that being said, this is a pleasant, picturesque little canyon with little traffic; I saw only eight hikers. It's shady at the bottom of the canyon but the climb out is in full sun in the afternoon. There is a stream bed in the canyon but the steam is seasonal; there is no water in early August. The only wildlife I saw were lizards and there was no sign of deer or coyotes. Elevation is about 6500' at the bottom of the canyon and about 7000' along the top so it is helpful to be acclimatized to this already. As with any hikes in such areas go prepared with water, some trail food and good hiking boots.

hiking
8 months ago

Very very cool. Must see if you are close.

hiking
9 months ago

Not a long hike, just some steps to get down to the ruins. Able to walk around the ruins a bit with a ranger to answer questions nearby. This time of the year, the trail closes at 3:30 PM.

Went on the 11:30 tour. I was petrified to climb the ladder to get into this dwelling, but I am so glad I did. It was well worth the experience. Our ranger was informative and kind. He checked in regularly to make sure everyone was handling the heat and heights. He was a wonderful story teller. The climb out was scary as well. After you climb a ladder, you have to grab onto a chain rope and climb up a rock that has dugouts for your feet. I'm glad I did it, but once was enough for me!

walking
9 months ago

Get there early and book tickets. We took the first tour of the morning, and it was well worth it. Several ladders to climb.

hiking
9 months ago

Relatively easy climb, albeit steady. Short switch backs make for an quick ascent. We started at 6 am and there was only one family at the top when we got there. It was very peaceful. The view is amazing.

Enjoyed the hike. I like petroglyphs and was somewhat disappointed when we arrived at the location of these on the trail. I guess I just expected a bit more.
A bit of rock scrambling just past the petroglyphs to get back up to the canyon rim, but not too difficult. Seemed a bit odd, however, as steps had been cut into the rocks on the rest of the trail, just not here.
Remember to take water with you.

This is a ranger guided tour. Cost $5 adult fee. Loved this tour. There are several ladders and steep steps, but most can easily handle this tour. The structures and history are amazing. Well worth the time and effort.

Nice easy hike with views of the canyon and Balcony House. As always, it gets hot, so bring water.

Load More