Balcony House Loop Trail

EASY 49 reviews
#3 of 18 trails in

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.

0.4 miles
91 feet

kid friendly



nature trips




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.

4 months ago

Short, but nice walk.

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.

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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!

6 months ago

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.

7 months ago

***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.

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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

8 months ago

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

9 months ago

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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

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

Monday, October 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.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

My favorite of all the dwellings

Wednesday, August 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.

Wednesday, July 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!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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

Monday, June 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!

Saturday, June 03, 2017

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

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Very easy and scenic trail. Beautiful views.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Pleasant 70-minute guided tour. Our ranger, Jeff Brown, was a great storyteller who tried to get us to think like a cliff-dwelling inhabitant of the site in pre-Columbian times. The hike is easy, but if you take young children, be aware that they might balk at the ladder they must climb to exit the site. While we were leaving, one child refused to climb and her parent didn't have control over her. Not a pretty sight. Great value at $4 per person, with tickets available at the Visitor Center near the entrance to the Park.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Not a long trail, but a very cool, ranger guided tour through the cliff dwellings. You get the opportunity to crawl through their living quarters, climb a 32 foot tall ladder and experience some of what the natives experienced. Fun time learning about the past.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A really fun trail, ranger led. Climbing ladders and crawling through a few tight spots on the evening sun. Very nice

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wasn't hard at all. I guess maybe it would be if you're scared of heights but it wasn't strenuous.

Monday, April 25, 2016

This is an educational hike guided by a ranger. It is not long in distance but plan on 60-90 minutes for the tour. It requires climbing ladders and squeezing through a couple of tight spaces. With that said the experience is phenomenal! You get a small glimpse into the lives of ancient Native Americans and their adaptability. Our ranger guide, Kevin, was knowledgeable about these people and provided insight into their lives.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Awesome experience. We had people of all ages in our group. Don't be intimidated by the ladder climb. It's not as bad as it sounds. A few people decided to back out unnecessarily after the guide's description...not because they were afraid of heights, but just due to the guide's description. Do it atleast once. It's a guided tour.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

This is the best $4 guided trip ever

Monday, August 31, 2015

Loved the large ladder, ruins and tour

Friday, July 10, 2015

Great tour, large ladder to climb to get into the balcony house.

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