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Mesa Verde National Park Map
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The best hike in all of Mesa Verde and I know because I did almost all of them in two days and this was my last. Amazing views at the top! The hike was challenging going up, not much covered, but doable. Downhill was super fast! Park at the amphitheater and look for the trail sign. I would do this ten more times if I could!

This was a pretty cool hike. Good views and a decent workout. I was able to finish it in a little over an hour. Take time to pick up the map for the “tour”. I did not, but if I did, I would have spent much more time here.

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.

We hiked this trail yesterday as we have had so much rain in Durango. So glad we had the chance as the sun broke through for our 3 hour hike and we saw only one other hiker. Trail is well marked with maps at each junction. We took the first loop option using the posted maps. We saw three small cliff dwellings spaced well along the hike. We had 5 min of trouble finding the exit trail on top of the Mesa because there were so many smaller view trails- just pay attention to the sign post. Cliffs, mountains and vegetation, made every turn a photographic event. Lack of serious stretches of elevation made this an easy hike. Our 15lb dog loved it as her first hike. The soft sand/soil was easy on her pads. If you don’t see the parking lot using Apple maps, just keep driving a little bit further-you can’t miss it. Our maps tried to take us up a small road near the parking area that said no public access.

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
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, amazing to see ruins up close without the crowds. Thoroughly enjoyed myself . Please be respectful of the ruins, let’s keep them around for everyone to enjoy!

road biking
1 month 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.

Watch out for cougars.

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 a popular local trail. Sometimes it can be hard to find parking at the Sand Canyon entrance (mostly on the weekends). This is a great place to stop off if you are visiting and want to get a taste of the area without getting too far out there. If you enter from the Sand Canyon side, you will pass a hogan up at to the right of the first sandstone slab that you walk up out of the parking area. There are archeological sites littering the whole area. It does not take much effort to spot the countless walls remaining in the caves and overhangs you will see along the trail. Keep an eye out, and you are sure to see some ruins. They are out in the open for the public to enjoy, but nonetheless marvelous archeological sites, so please remember to respect them and help preserve them.

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!

hiking
2 months ago

First of all I want to say that we got a late start on this trail and only went 3 of the 7 miles in and then back out. The trail is well marked and quite easy to follow. The three miles that we hiked provided several opportunities to view ancient cliff dwellings both up close and in the distance across the canyon. The Canyons of The Ancients is an amazing place and this trail invites you to imagine what it may have been like to live in this area thousands of years ago. The pinion/juniper landscape is healthy all through the canyon and I'm sure there are plenty of opportunities to view wildlife if your quiet during your hike. We recently moved to the four corners area and I'm sure we will be back to walk the entire trail when the weather cools

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
3 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
3 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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

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!

hiking
4 months 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.

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