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.

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Hiked in mid October and went CCW. Might be easier to go CW but either way is awesome. The hiking was pretty easy and the views second to none. Like others I would recommend the guide book. It’s free at trailhead if you promise to put it back or it’s a dollar donation at the visitor center.

LOVED this trail! We liked both the complexity of the trail itself, as well as the fantastic views along it - both of the canyon, as well as the intriguing sculpturing of the walls you were walking by. If you have even the slightest fear of heights, you should NOT go on this trail. There were a number of times you walk on a (?)one foot wide path with a sheer, long drop into the canyon right next to you. Also, people of size might have quite some difficulty getting through some of the narrow squeezes. The scamper/climb up very tall stone steps after the petroglyphs can be very challenging, but it's only a short stretch.

hiking
16 days ago

Wonderful short hike in the park. Best petroglyphs I’ve seen yet. Definitely get the $1 brochure in the museum that guides you through the hike’s 34 points of interest.... always nice to know what you’re looking at when it comes to native plants, uses, animals, and historical/ cultural facts.

road biking
29 days ago

The paved Long House Loop trail is a 6 mi trail that bikes and walkers and dogs on leash can use. You will see the ruins like Badger House community along the route. A few porta potties and covered shelters are also available. The mesas in the distance are beautiful. This is definately the road less traveled.

hiking
1 month ago

Worth doing while you are in the park! A nice and relatively shady loop along the middle rim of a canyon, starting near Spruce Tree House. The petroglyphs really aren't that much to write home about compared to others in the general area, but petroglyphs are always exciting to see. I was more enamored with the trail itself. It's sort of rocky and jaunty - a fun hike that loops back and drops you near the museum and parking area up on top. It might not be a great option for folks who aren't in good physical shape. There are a couple of little points where you have to climb up a little on some rocks and it is somewhat vertical or steep, though most of the trail is quite tame.

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of the prettiest areas in Colorado. Getting all the way to the lake is only possible for a few months during the summer, but still worth the hike even if you get stopped by snow near the top (as I did in May). Be prepared to encounter some gorgeous waterfalls and mountain panoramic views on your way up.

Short, but nice walk.

Short hike out to view the cliff dwellings with a toddler. Also spotted a black bear in the creek below us which was really neat!

Did this hike on Saturday! Very beautiful. You should Plan to go early as we headed up around 11:30 and got caught in the monsoon rains. We were prepared with rain gear, and continued. The lakes were beautiful. I would say this hike is challenging but not hard. Coming back down was quite slippery and steep. I would suggest walking sticks if you have knee issues. They helped me greatly coming back down. We did not make it to verde lake which is just past the highland Mary lakes, as it was 4 and we were worried about getting back down before more storms.

This is what I would expect a hike to be. Moderate. Fairly remote, easy yet a variety of terrain, and many places to stop and enjoy the views or ruins. There is one place to be able to stop and see a small portion of ruins up close about a quarter or the way through the hike and glyphs almost half way.

Depending on the way you go, you will have to do a little “rock climbing” or descending half way through, I did it on a sprained ankle but obviously wouldn’t recommend that to others although it can be done. In good health though I would recommend to anyone.

Amazing walk up hi.... got off track a few times and never made t to the lake due to rain storms yet it was beautiful and. Hike we will want to do again!!

Set your expectations before you go! 2 hours for just adults. Tack on another hour or two if you have young children. This became and adventure for us BECAUSE we did not note the trail map! A third of the way through a thunderstorm struck, it was early evening, and at that time I didn’t know the “loop” portion took us up to easy ground on the rim top. It freaked me out that we still might need to descend another 100 feet and then loop back, wet, at night, with a little kid—-and we turned back—and then we turned around again.

Going is much faster atop on flat ground. On the canyon face’s trail it’s slower because of the ups and downs, sand, rocks, steps, tree debris.

Perks : the glyphs, a great sunset, wildlife emerging in the evening

What fun! We failed to read about the 10 Meter (30 feet) initial climb. Our tentative 6 year old did it afraid —the definition of courage. The short tunnel was fun for him and mommy pressed a hand to his back to steady him for the last 15 foot climb that was truly on a cliff face.

Very easy and it is very interesting. Cool views and amazing history.

Guided tour. Amazing place :-)

2 months 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.

Amazing birthday hike. At the beginning parked in parking lot across river so had to wade to get to the trailhead. Not a moderate hike due to technical area thru boulders.. Invigorating swim at the lake!

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.

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. Probably a bit spoiled by other hikes in the area. Not as spectacular as Ice Lakes, for example, but still pretty scenic. Nice waterfalls & lakes.

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

Beautiful sweeping views. The lake is great for fishing and camping. I might rate this a bit harder than moderate especially if you are carrying an overnight backpack. The first lake looks like an infinity pool from heaven. BE WARNED: the road to the trailhead is very rocky and uneven, not for the faint of heart. 4WD and/or SUV is highly recommended although I saw a few sedans that made it up somehow.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

Be forewarned that the road to this trail is not paved for sometime if you are coming from Silverton; maybe 30 minutes plus going 5-15 mph over rocky terrain. As you approach the trail head there is a small parking area at the bottom about .5 miles from the head, this is where we parked because the road up to the trail head seemed a bit tough. If you have a proper suv or awd lifted car, it should be fine, if not, it might be a tough climb up for an inexperienced driver. Weather conditions were constantly changing in late July as well, with 10 degree temp swings with rain/thunder. Beautiful hike.

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked to the first three lakes. Gorgeous scenery. The weather was a little iffy on the hike because the monsoon season hit, thankful for it as the fire danger was high in the area. People were fishing. Camping along the trail. Every view was amazing.

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