Petroglyph Point Trail

MODERATE 121 reviews
#1 of 18 trails in

Petroglyph Point Trail is a 2.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
2.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
433 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

hiking
2 days 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
23 days ago

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

1 month 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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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
2 months ago

Good views. Fun hike. Last half is an easy stroll. Great hike to get acclimated. I would rate easy. Minimal elevation change and no real switchbacks or taxing terrain. Good for families

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike which gives you a sense of the landscape, not just the original dwellings. Enjoyed passing the dwellings and hugging the side of the drop off taking in great views until we switched directions and walked along the top. Not a difficult hike, but we started in the early mooning. Saw some recent graffiti, which was disappointing.

2 months ago

Can be a bit scrambly at times but after the glyphs it’s a cakewalk. Beyond all beauty. Great walk.

3 months ago

Amazing trail with beautiful views

3 months ago

Nice walk shady walk down into the canyon, the petroglyphs are awesome to see. Rock scramble on the way out and the walk across the Mesa back to museum. Would definitely do again.

3 months ago

A beautiful, “challenging” hike. Wear good footing and be prepared the squeeze. The views are indescribably beautiful. :)

3 months ago

Amazing views and lots of interesting stone footpaths. Definitely a must do if you're in Mesa Verde.

3 months ago

Lovely trail! I love the views.

3 months ago

Great trail! Petroglyphs are about half way in. Lots of tricky rocks to climb down and up on. Great views and trail is well marked.

4 months ago

Awesome and fun trail, very different from anything I've been on. Petroglyphs are a little bit more than halfway and hard to miss. Not too difficult of a trail, some very steep steps and tight place to maneuver through though. Also after the petroglyphs there is a slight difficulty hump at the "Museum" sign, a small rock scramble, but an amazing view right after. Great day hike! Could take from 1-2 hours

hiking
4 months ago

This was one of my favorite hikes. A moderate loop with beautiful views, ruins and rock carvings. It is labeled by the park as strenuous but I was able to do it with a sprained ankle. First part is a lot of rock terrain, light rock climbing when reaching the peak but flat on the way back. A great hike overall and would recommend taking time to stop and enjoy the views.

hiking
4 months ago

All trails says moderate but the park labels it strenuous. For me it was definitely more difficult than expected. Lots of different terrain and some rock climbing... be prepared, take plenty of water. The trail takes a lot longer than you might think. But, totally worth the views, beautiful!

4 months ago

this trail is generally not suitable for trail running - too many steep staircases narrow passages. a beautiful hike, especially if you link to the spruce canyon trail

hiking
4 months ago

Not tons of petroglyphs. There is a little bit of squeezing through rocks and there are some steps, so if you're way out of shape and it's a hot day and you're not used to high elevation, maybe skip this one. I did see some bear tracks in the mud on the upper part of the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Neato!!

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

10 months ago

Awesome views and great history

hiking
10 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.

hiking
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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.

hiking
Sunday, July 16, 2017

Completed counterclockwise with family, including 13 and 10 year olds. Kids really liked the hike, stopping on their own to enjoy the panoramic views. Hot and dry (mid July), bring H2O! 4 stars instead of 5 as the flat last 3/4 mile at the top was kind of boring after the previous 2 miles of hiking on the cliff side.

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