Explore the most popular walking trails near Mesa Verde National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
1 day 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.

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!

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.

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

Guided tour. Amazing place :-)

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.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Decent trail. Did just the North loop. First mile is overlooking the paved roads of the camping area. First good view doesn't occur until 1.7 miles in. Once you got around to the rim you had a nice view of the canyon, but also of the park road across the canyon. Saw plenty of signs of big horns, scat and tracks, but no sheep. Saw a few short horned lizards though.

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
1 month 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
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
1 month ago

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

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.

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!

love the scenic trails.

hiking
2 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.

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!

walking
2 months ago

Simple trail, not much of a hike. Started in the morning on the way to Balcony House. Beautiful structures not far from each other. Saw a couple of deer. Great way to start the day. Parking is limited, but you get to walk right next to the buildings.

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

Easy walk for some pretty views. Overall not as scenic.

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.

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