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Balcony House Loop Trail is a 0.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 0.4 miles Elevation Gain: 91 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly


nature trips

bird watching



wild flowers



no dogs

Balcony House is a 1 hour ranger guided tour through a cliff dwelling located in Mesa Verde National Park. This tour is considered the most challenging tour due to the fact that visitors will have to descend a 100 foot staircase, climb a 32 ft. ladder, climb through a 12 ft. by 18 in. wide tunnel, and then climb an additional 60 ft. of ladders and stone steps to exit the cliff dwelling.

11 hours ago

A short little walk and climb down to the cliff dwelling. The guide was entertaining and knowledgeable. Totally, recommend this tour. Enjoy!

5 months ago

Awesome informative, short hike. Loved it!

6 months ago

Very fun little hike! Of course it’s a tour guided hike, so be early to the welcome centers before 11AM or you won’t guarantee a spot! It was a nice little short hike, but be respectful of the architecture since it’s old!

9 months ago

10 months ago

This trail is a must for the kids! They loved climbing to the tall ladder and crawling through the tunnel at Balcony House!

10 months ago

Amazing tour, definitely a bit adventurous if you have small kids or are not prepared to climb a 35 ft ladder up a cliff face (that's 3 stories up), crawl through tunnels connecting parts of the dwelling, or scamper up footholds in the cliff face with just chain netting separating you from a 60-80 ft plunge. Made it with kids 9, 7, 5 but wouldn't want to take smaller kids. Ranger played Native American flute while in the dwelling, was magic.

11 months ago

Amazing views and history. If you pay for the tour of Balcony House some might have a difficult time with the climb out. There is a small rectangular tunnel you need to crawl through (my husbands shoulders almost got stuck) you then need to climb a ladder and steep steps. They suggest those with recent hip or knee replacements forgo this hike/tour.

11 months ago

This guided tour is one of the main attractions and reasons for going to Mesa Verde. This one is a bit more adventurous than clif palace because of longer ladders, a higher location on the cliffs, and a small tunnel that you need to fit through. It is well worth taking more than one of the cliff dwelling tours in the park if you can.

Wed Jun 05 2019

Short climb up a ladder to Balcony House. Great view of the house. Tiny narrow tunnel that you have to climb through that requires you to go on all fours. Will definitely not recommend for someone who has knee or leg issues, or are plus sized...

Thu Sep 06 2018

Short, but nice walk.

Wed Aug 22 2018

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.

Fri Aug 10 2018

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.

Thu Aug 09 2018

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.

Sun Jul 29 2018

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.

Mon Jul 16 2018

Definitely worth waiting to get a tour. It was one of the most unique experiences I've had within the NPS.

Tue Jul 10 2018

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!

Sun Jul 08 2018

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.

Sat Jun 16 2018

***check in with the visitor center to book your guided tour if you want to walk through the cliff dwellings*** Well worth the $5. This park was amazing. We saw the balcony house at 12 and the cliff house at 2 and it was sufficient time to get to the next as well as time well spent. We ended spending the entire day here.

Thu Jun 07 2018

Completed this last summer. Ranger was grouchy and really ruined the experience. Trail, although a little difficult in places, was in great shape, well preserved and maintained. This is a Ranger-guided tour.

Wed May 16 2018

Love Mesa Verde and all the places to see!! Great National Park to visit!

Wed Apr 25 2018

Guided tour only. Very nice and well worth the $$

Tue Apr 17 2018

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.

Mon Oct 23 2017

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

Mon Oct 16 2017

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.

Sat Sep 02 2017

My favorite of all the dwellings

Wed Aug 16 2017

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.

Wed Jul 19 2017

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!

Sun Jun 11 2017

Great tour guides (only $5!), very worth it!

Mon Jun 05 2017

Great adventure! As another reviewer stated, this is not for you if you are afraid of heights. It was nerve wracking. We took our three children ranges in ages from 6-13. I was nervous for them but it was fun, educational, and beautiful!

Sat Jun 03 2017

An amazing tour and hike. If you're afraid of heights, this might be a little difficult for you! Great for kids!

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