Mesa Verde National Park Tours

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.

Need to Know

Daily tours of Cliff Palace, Long House, and Balcony House are closed for the season. NOTE: In 2024, all Ranger-Led or Ranger -Assisted tours will require reservations through the Recreation.gov website or toll free number 1-877-444-6777. For more information on the variety of tours offered next season, please visit the Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Dwelling Tours page .

  • During the ticket season which typically runs from May to October, tickets will go on sale 14 days in advance at 8:00 a.m MST, on a rolling daily window. For example, tickets would go on sale May 19 for tours on June 2. 
  • PLAN AHEAD! All 2024 tours will require reservations. Tours are limited and sell out daily, especially on holiday and weekend dates. Cliff Palace is limited to 45, Balcony House to 35, and Square Tower House to 10 participants per tour.
  • If booking more than one tour on the same day, please ensure you allow enough time to drive from one site to another and allow adequate time between tours. Please follow the suggested tour times listed on each tour page.

Important! Please either print your reservation confirmation email or save a screenshot on your mobile device before arriving at the park. You will present this to the ranger before your tour. No other ticket will be provided. Cell service is extremely limited in the park and rangers cannot access tour reservation lists.  

  • All tours are appropriate for well-prepared hikers, but are strenuous, so please consider your physical health before choosing a tour/hike, espicially if you have heart or respiratory problems, or other physical difficulties.Elevations ranges between 7,000 and 7,500 feet (2134 , and 2286 m) above sea level.
  • We suggest wearing sturdy shoes or boots and bring plenty of water.Your safety depends on your good judgement, adequate preperation, and constant attention.
  • Children must be able to walk the extent of the trails and climb all ladders on their own without diffculty. All infants must be carried in backpacks while on tours and adults carrying children in backpacks must be able to maintain mobility and balance.
  • All visitors to Mesa Verde National Park must present a pass (Interagency Annual Pass, Interagency Senior Pass, Interagency Military Pass, Interagency Access Pass, or an annual 4th Grade Pass) or pay an entrance fee upon arrival (or purchase a digital site pass in advance ).
  • Please be prepared to present your hard copy pass or digital pass on your mobile device. Please also have your photo I.D. available to present to the ranger with your pass. Photo copies or digital pass images will not be accepted if you left your hard copy pass at home.
  • Do you already own a pass? Mesa Verde National Park honors the Interagency Annual and lifetime Passes that are valid at multiple national park and federal sites. If you own one of these passes you do NOT need to purchase a digital site pass.
  • Are you visiting multiple parks? Upon arrival at Mesa Verde National Park you may purchase Interagency Annual and lifetime passes that allow entry at multiple national parks and federal lands.For information about other pass options, please visit Recreation.gov " Buy a Pass" page or compare the passes at the USGS Pass Store 
  • The park no longer accepts cash or checks for any entrance fees, Interagency Passes, or ticket sales. All purchases must be made by credit card only (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or Diners Club).
  • Although the park is open year-round, overnight accommodations and some areas (including Wetherill Mesa) are closed during the winter months. Be sure to check the park's Operating Hours page or pick up a Visitor Guide upon arrival for details on services available during your visit.
  • The Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center is open from 8:00 am -4:00 pm daily. The Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum open from 10:00 am- 3:00 pm.

Only plain water is allowed on any tour. Candy, tobacco or gum are NOT permitted into any cliff dwelling.

Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park is operated by Aramark . You may book online at Aramark's Mesa Verde website or call 1-800-449-2288. The campground will re-open in May 2024.

Mesa Verde National Park does not require a Timed Ticket Entry to enter the park.

Booking Windows

In 2024 tour tickets will be available 14 days in advance, 8:00 am MST, on a rolling daily window. (For example, tickets for June 2nd will be available starting May 19th at 8:00 am MDT.  All Ranger-Led or Ranger Assisted tours require a tour ticket.

Purchasing tickets in advance are strongly encouraged. All tour tickets will be sold online or by calling 877-444-6777.

Changes and Cancellations

Cancellations must be completed at least 24-hours before your scheduled tour start time for a full refund minus the non-refundable per-ticket reservation fee. Refunds will not be given for tours cancelled or modified less than 24-hours before the scheduled tour time.

Contact Information

Mailing address.

PO Box 8 Mesa Verde CO 81330

Phone Number

970-529-4465

Photo Gallery

NPS Park Ranger Describing the Ancient Structures

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Mesa Verde National Park Tours & Trips 2024

Find the right tour for you through Mesa Verde National Park. We've got 34 adventures going to Mesa Verde National Park, starting from just 7 days in length, and the longest tour is 21 days. The most popular month to go is September, which has the largest number of tour departures.

34 Mesa Verde National Park tour packages with 76 reviews

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"Great. Our guide Stephen was excellent"

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Scenic Parks Explorer (15 Days) Tour

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Scenic Parks Explorer (15 Days)

Best of the Canyonlands (Small Group, 7 Days) Tour

Best of the Canyonlands (Small Group, 7 Days)

Wonders of the American West (Small Groups, 10 Days, Las Vegas Airport And Post Trip Hotel Transfer) Tour

Wonders of the American West (Small Groups, 10 Days, Las Vegas Airport And Post Trip Hotel Transfer)

Canyon Country Showcase (12 Days) Tour

Canyon Country Showcase (12 Days)

Historic Trains of the Old West Tour

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Through the Land of Canyons to California Tour

Through the Land of Canyons to California

Western Rails & Canyons with Rocky Mountaineer Tour

Western Rails & Canyons with Rocky Mountaineer

Southwest Native Trails (Balloon, End Albuquerque, 12 Days) Tour

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Scenic Parks Explorer (15 Days, Las Vegas Airport And Post Trip Hotel Transfer) Tour

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The Colorado Rockies featuring National Parks and Historic Trains (Denver, CO to Colorado Springs, CO) (2023) Tour

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Colourful Trails of the Southwest (End Albuquerque, 10 Days) Tour

Colourful Trails of the Southwest (End Albuquerque, 10 Days)

Colourful Trails of the Southwest (End Santa Fe, 12 Days) Tour

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Southwest Native Trails (End Albuquerque, 11 Days) Tour

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International Versions

  • Deutsch: Mesa Verde Nationalpark Rundreisen 2024
  • Français: Circuits et voyages au Parc national de Mesa Verde 2024
  • Español: Circuitos y Viajes por Parque Nacional de Mesa Verde 2024
  • Nederlands: Mesa Verde Nationaal Park Rondreizen 2024

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Your Guide to the Mesa Verde National Park Tours in 2022

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Mesa Verde is a U.S. National Park known for its Cliff Dwellings and ancient architecture that goes back years ago. So history and cultures buff will surely appreciate the park, and the best way to do that is to join a tour or two with the park ranger. 

Table of Contents

Mesa Verde Self-Guided Tours: Can You Tour Mesa Verde On Your Own?

Mesa verde tours.

  • Cliff Palace
  • Balcony House

How Long Does Each Tour Take?

  • The Cliff Palace tour takes approximately 30 minutes. 
  • The Balcony House  tour takes approximately 60 minutes. 
  • The Long House tour takes approximately 60 minutes.
  • Driving time . Mesa Verde National Park is huge; believe me, most of your time will be spent driving.  
  • You are required to show up 15 mins earlier before each tour to go over the safety information. 
  • There may be delays or any unforeseen circumstances during your tour or after. 
  • Sometimes, the tour can go longer than anticipated . 
  • 2 hours between the time you book this Cliff Palace tour and a Balcony House tour (i.e., 9:00 AM CP and 11:00 PM BH).
  • 3 hours between the time you book this Cliff Palace tour and a Long House tour (i.e., 10:00 AM CP and 1:00 PM or later LH).
  • 4 hours between the time you book this Long House tour and a Cliff Palace tour (i.e., 10:00 AM LH and a 2:00 PM or later CP). This will allow you a little extra time to enjoy the sites at Wetherill Mesa and drive to Cliff Palace.

Mesa Verde Tour Cost

  • General Admission: $8
  • Infant (age 2 and under): $1
  • Cancellation Fee: $1 per ticket

How Difficult Is Each Tour?

It’s not so much about hiking to do each cliff-dwelling tour at Mesa Verde National Park. However, each tour requires climbing up and down to go through a cliff dwelling, and the effort can be anywhere from easy and moderate to difficult , depending on your physical conditions. Therefore, the tour is not for you if you have mobility issues or concerning physical health. So plan accordingly before purchasing any tour tickets. 

Best Cliff Dwelling Tours at Mesa Verde

  • The Cliff Palace  tour is the easiest and fastest tour, and it’s also the most popular cliff dwelling picture you see when you google Mesa Verde National Park. You go through the tour listening to the ranger’s narrative and move through the cliff dwelling without touching anything. 
  • The Balcony House tour requires a better fitness level and takes an hour to complete. It’s also the hardest tour to get tickets because they only offer 3 tours per day with a limited amount of tickets sold. It is one of the most adventurous tours in the park as you move through the cliff dwelling by claiming tall ladders, squeezing your way through a narrow tunnel, etc. See the photo below. This tour lets you touch the dwelling (but not all) as you move through the site. 
  • The Long House  tour also takes an hour and is a little further away to drive to it. It’s the least popular Mesa Verde National Park tour and can also be challenging to move through the cliff dwelling. 

How to Book Mesa Verde Tours?

  • First and foremost, ensure the cliff dwelling or road is not closed for the date you will visit the park for your tour. 
  • You can view the alerts from the official Mesa Verde National Park website .
  • Go to the Recreative Gov website and create an account if you do not have one. 
  • Sit down and figure out what dates and times you want to do the tour and how many tickets you will need. You can see each Mesa tour hours here:
  • All tour reservations can be booked online 14 days in advance at 8 AM Colorado or Mountain Standard Time (MST) . Therefore, 14 days before your desired tour date, set a reminder before 8 AM Colorado time, and get your credit card ready. 
  • I suggest you perform a “mock” reservation on a sample date without paying for the reservation to familiarize yourself with the booking process for the tour tickets and quantities you want.
  • Simply go to the Recreation Gov Mesa Verde Tour website to book. 
  • Remember that the  Balcony House  tour can be sold out in 2-3 minutes, so be strategic and ready to book in front of your computer if this tour is high on your list. 

Best Places to Stay Near Mesa Verde National Park

  • I suggest you stay in Cortez to better use your time because Mesa Verde National Park is huge, and you will spend most of your time driving to the park entrance and each cliff dwelling site from the park entrance. 
  • Durango is a more interesting town with more attractions, especially its scenic train ride between Durango and Silverton , but it can be far from Mesa Verde. Lodging is also more expensive. 
  • If you want to stay in the National Park, there’s a Far View Lodge  inside the park, and they accept pets for $25 per night. 
  • Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez – pets are not allowed.
  • Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez – pet fee is $50 per stay, up to 2 pets allowed. 
  • Best Western Turquoise Inn & Suites – pet fee is $20 per night, up to 2 pets allowed. However, when I called them, they said $20 per stay, so please double-check. 
  • Baymont by Wyndham Cortez – pet fee is $15 per stay, up to 2 pets allowed. 
  • Also, some more budgeted  Choice Hotels  are available too. Each hotel charges a pet fee per night instead of per stay, which can add up. 

Are Dogs Allowed In Mesa Verde National Park?

  • Never leave your pets in the car unattended. 
  • Take turns watching your pet and checking out the cliff dwelling overlook if there are two of you. The Cliff Palace overlook, for example, is not far from the parking lot, so one of you can watch your pet while the other snap a quick photo of the Cliff Palace. A few overlooks along the Cliff Palace loop are just a few steps away from the parking space. 
  • Take turns doing each Mesa Verde tour by allowing ample time between switching. 
  • Walk the Long House Loop with your pets. The loop is 5-mile long, but you don’t have to do it all. The path is well paved, and some archaeological sites, including the Long House overlook, are where you can enjoy the views with your pets.
  • There are also dog kennels near Mesa Verde if you are comfortable. 

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See, Stay & Do: Durango.com Travel Guide to Durango, Colorado

Mesa Verde Tours

There are plenty of ways to explore the Mesa Verde National Park along with numerous guided or self-guided tours to choose from. You might choose one of the popular ranger-guided tours or you might want to explore at your own pace. Check out all the different options.

Come take a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples who made this part of the country their home for over 700 years. Explore some of the most notable cliff dwelling ruins in the US on a Mesa Verde tour.

mesa verde national park bus tours

Mesa Verde Express Tour

Discover Mesa Verde with an Archaeologist trained guide! Come take a look into the lives of the Ance...

mesa verde national park bus tours

Mesa Verde Guided Tour

Book a Mesa Verde guided tour and learn about the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made Mesa...

mesa verde national park bus tours

Private Mesa Verde Tour

Come take a look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo peoples who made Mesa Verde their home for o...

*All prices are subject to change

Mesa Verde Tours: FAQ

Are self-guided tours available.

Self-Guided Tours at Mesa Verde are also available. You can explore at your own speed and only visit the things you really want to see. Chapin Mesa self-guided tours include Spruce Tree House, Mesa Top Loop Road, Far View Sites Complex and Cedar Tree Tower. The Wetherill Mesa tours include Step House and Badger House Trail which are only open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Where Can I Explore Mesa Verde On My Own?

Mesa Top Load Road. A 6-mile driving tour with short, paved trails. Twelve easily-accessible sites, including surface dwellings and cliff dwelling overlooks. Highlights include Sun Point Overlook, Square Tower House, and views of Cliff Palace from Sun Point and Sun Temple stops. Overlooks also found on the 6-mile Cliff Palace Loop Road.

Far View Sites Complex. Far View House plus four other villages and a dry reservoir on a level 3/4-mile unpaved trail. Four miles north of the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Open 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

Cedar Tree Tower. Mesa Top Tower and Kiva. Ancestral Puebloan tower and kiva complex can be viewed from the road. Open 8:00 a.m. to sunset.

Step House. Pithouse, Petroglyphs and Cliff Dwelling. A 100ft descent and ascent on a winding path. Total walking distance, 3/4-mile round-trip. Allow 45 minutes to one hour. Trail begins near the Wetherill Mesa kiosk.

Badger House Trail. Trail to four mesa top sites. The 2.5 mile trail to Badger House Community surface sites begins at Wetherill Mesa Kiosk. Combination gravel and paved trail. If you prefer, take the tram to or from the Badger House tram stop and shorten the trail to 1.5 miles.

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THE 10 BEST Mesa Verde National Park Tours & Excursions

Mesa verde national park tours.

  • Historical & Heritage Tours
  • Archaeology Tours
  • Sightseeing Tours
  • Private Tours
  • Cultural Tours
  • Walking Tours
  • Multi-day Tours
  • Free cancellation
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
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mesa verde national park bus tours

1. Mesa Verde Express Tour

mesa verde national park bus tours

2. Mesa Verde National Park 1/2 Day Tour

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3. Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour in Mesa Verde National Park

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4. 700 Year Tour - Half Day Mesa Verde Cultural Tour

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5. Full-Day Mesa Verde Discovery Tour

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6. *CLIFF PALACE* Private Mesa Verde Tour

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7. Full-Day Mesa Verde National Park Tour with Guide

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8. Mesa Verde National Park Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour

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9. 25+ National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

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10. Mesa Verde Express Tour With Tickets To Cliff Palace

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Mesa Verde National Park: Tours Information

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DURANGO ADVENTURES

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK TOURS

durango colorado masverde adventure

DURANGO ADVENTURES​

About our mesa verde national park tours.

Join our park experts for a full day on the Mesa Verde National Park Tour! We depart Durango, Colorado first thing in the morning and arrive at the Visitor Center before the crowds. From there we travel into the park and begin exploring. The entire day is customized to the group and can include interpretive tour and hikes, special ranger-guided tours, roadside sightseeing areas, and more. These tours are all inclusive and worry free!

Private Park Tours are available if you would like to have our vehicle and guide all to your group.

  • Transportation to and from Durango
  • Park Entrance Fees
  • Ranger Guided Tour Tickets
  • Deli Style Picnic Lunch
  • Ice cold water all day (it gets hot on the Mesa!)
  • A park expert who is passionate about the area and well versed in the history
  • A customized park experience and memories that can only be found on a Mesa Verde National Park Tour!

Meeting Point

Half day and Full day meeting location  303 West College Drive Durango CO 81301 **Must check-in 20 minutes before trip departure

Don’t see your date and time? Booking within 24 hours? Call us 970-759-9880

durango colorado masverde half day

1/2 DAY MESA VERDE TOUR

This tour includes the iconic Cliff Palace ranger-guided tour and a customized tour of special sites around Chapin Mesa. The Cliff Palace tour involves climbing some small ladders and is appropriate for most groups. Our guide will customize the trip and add historical, cultural and archaeological insights as well as answer questions about the flora and fauna of the landscape. Choose from ranger guided tours, walks, overlooks and sites. Park entrance fees, ranger-guided tour tickets, transportation, and bottled water are included.

Tour length: 5.5 hours

star

FULL DAY MESA VERDE TOUR – MOST POPULAR

Tour length: 8 hours

Things to Know

  • Must be 5 years or older.
  • Participants must be in good physical condition without activity-limiting medical issues. We welcome persons with disabilities but due to the inherent nature of this activity we will assess each person on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us before booking.
  • Bring a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a small backpack for personal items.
  • Reservations and full payment are required ahead of time.
  • You will be sent a link for a digital waiver, once you adventure has been confirmed, to fill out online. Digital waivers should be filled out before you arrive for your tour. One waiver per person. Any person 17 and under will need to have a parent or guardian sign their liability waiver. They do not need to be printed out.
  • Reservations become 100% non-refundable / non-changeable within 72 hours of trip departure, 2 weeks for group reservations. There will be a small service fee charged to any cancellation outside of the 72 hour cancellation policy.
  • All prices include taxes, permits, and entrance fees but a small service fee will be applied at the time of reservation. The small service fee is non-refundable.
  • If the weather, insufficient number of participants, or other circumstances cause us to cancel your tour, you will be informed by phone and/or email to reschedule or refund.
  • This adventure runs rain or shine.
  • Meeting Location 303 W. College Dr Durango, Co 81301
  • Gratuity for our hard working guides is not included but greatly appreciated.

FROM OUR CUSTOMERS

Ready to book your adventure, book an adventure combo and enjoy 2 adventures in a single day.

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Exiting nps.gov

Alerts in effect, a sacred place.

For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and Tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past. This World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth.

Are you planning to visit Mesa Verde in the winter? See what's available during your visit.

Find out what's open and when

Information on the park entrance fee, Mesa Verde Annual Pass, and America the Beautiful passes. Learn how to purchase online!

Watch the official Mesa Verde National Park film, which shows daily at the Mesa Verde Museum.

Learn about visiting Mesa Verde with pets

Mesa Verde National Park is committed to providing inspiring experiences to people of all abilities.

Download the park app, audio tours, and podcasts before your visit, or to learn more about Mesa Verde from home!

Last updated: November 29, 2023

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Contact info, mailing address:.

PO Box 8 Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330

970-529-4465

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10 Epic Mesa Verde Tours on a National Park Road Trip in Colorado

Have you ever considered taking a national park road trip from Denver to Mesa Verde in Colorado?

Hey, even if you don't live in Colorado, plan to fly into Denver International Airport for your national park road trip and some epic Mesa Verde tours. Rent a car for your adventure and subsequent outdoor recreational activities and enjoy the amazing beauty that Colorado offers.

Check Google Flights for the best prices.

Stops to Make on Your National Park Road Trip from Denver to Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado and is one of the most amazing places to visit in Colorado . Mesa Verde, one of the first designated UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites in ALL of the world , features the cliff dwellings and archeological heritage of the Ancestral Puebloan people (600 to 1300 CE).

The distance from Denver to Mesa Verde National Park by car is approximately seven hours. If you plan to spend time exploring the national park and taking some of the guided Mesa Verde tours, you'll definitely want more than just one day for your visit.

From Denver to Mesa Verde, Colorado - courtesy of Google Maps

Add to your adventure with stops in :

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
  • Breckenridge
  • Chimney Rock National Monument
  • Colorado Springs
  • Vallecito Trail

Some of these stops will be a bit of a detour (see the above map), but hey, isn't that the fun of a road trip ?

Where to Eat

There are a few options of places to eat when you visit Mesa Verde.

Metate Room : This is the only sit-down dining available within the park and is open only for dinner. The Metate Room is in the main building of Far View Lodge where you can also find a gift shop and a lounge.

Far View Terrace Cafe : This economical and kid-friendly option is located just down the street from Far View Lodge where you'll find breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings served cafeteria style. If you have never tried a Navajo Taco before, you might want to try one here! You can even pick up some grab and go breakfast and lunch options.

Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe : Close to the Mesa Verde park headquarters and the Chapin Mesa Museum, this cafeteria offers a seasonal menu with appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts.

Far View Lounge : Above Far View Lodge, enjoy stunning views, watch a sporting event, and enjoy time with friends and family in a relaxing atmosphere. You'll find typical pub fare—appetizers, snacks, cocktails, beer, and wine.

Knife Edge Cafe : Within Morefield Campground, head on over to the outdoor patio to enjoy some pancakes and other breakfast foods.

Morefield Campground Store : Check out the Campground Store for basic food, snacks, and beverages, located in Morefield Campground.

Pack a Picnic : Plan a picnic lunch to bring with you and eat along the way as you explore the park or after you've enjoyed one of the Mesa Verde tours. Be sure to bring a packable cooler with you.

Where to Stay Before Your Mesa Verde Tours

Interested in immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the park? You have options for staying within the park as well as more options in the small towns, such as Cortez, outside the park. Note that it will take you about an hour to reach the top of the mesa from Cortez.

If you have the opportunity to stay within the park, I highly recommend it. You'll have better access to the attractions and cliff dwellings.

If you plan to stay for more than one day, there is camping in Mesa Verde National Park as well as reservations available at the Far View Lodge .

The lodge is conveniently located at the center of the park—about 15 miles from the entrance to the park. Far View features amazing views to the south over Mesa Verde and is available for reservations from spring to fall.

Camping in Mesa Verde National Park

"Morefield Campground is located just four miles from the park entrance. The 267 campsites are located within a high grassy canyon filled with Gambel oak, native flowers, deer, and wild turkeys. A camp store offers registration, food, and camp supplies. Firewood, gasoline, showers, a coin-operated laundromat, and a kennel are located nearby. Each site has a picnic table, gravel tent pad, and fire pit/BBQ grill." ~ Check NPS.gov for reservations

Things to Pack for Mesa Verde Tours of the Dwellings

If you are planning a road trip from Denver to Mesa Verde, a few of the items you will want to add to your road trip packing list include:

  • Hiking boots
  • Camelbak water reservoir and pack
  • Hat or visor

Check my Amazon Storefront for ALL of your TRAVEL GEAR

Tips for Visiting Mesa Verde National Park

You might have guessed that Mesa Verde National Park sits on a mesa. The elevation of Mesa Verde is 8,572 feet at its highest point. As such, the temperatures get pretty hot in the summer months if you are planning outdoor recreational activities.

Some tips for your visit?

  • Plan for an early start to avoid peak crowds
  • Visit at a cooler time of the day
  • Get an early start to maximize your time in the park
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Drink lots of water

You'll find the visitor center and park entrance kiosk outside the park; once you enter Mesa Verde National Park there is still a twenty-minute drive to reach the top of the mesa. Entrance requires an America the Beautiful Park Pass or a pass to Mesa Verde.

Mesa Verde Tours: Self-Guided

There are a number of self-guided Mesa Verde tours that you can add to your itinerary, especially if you are only planning to spend one day in Mesa Verde National Park .

1. Cliff Palace

Along the Cliff Palace Loop Road, you'll discover one of the largest cliff dwellings in North America. You can view the Cliff Palace from the Cliff Palace Overlook as well as from Sun Temple on the Mesa Top Loop.

2. Cliff Palace Loop Road

The 6-mile Cliff Palace Loop Road features cliff dwellings and overlooks as well as access to the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail.

3. Far View Sites

It is an easy ¾-mile walk among the pinyon-juniper forest on the mesa; the short walk connects a community of farming villages and an ancient reservoir. Far View features one large kiva (living area) surrounded by 30 to 40 rooms. Three smaller kivas were added at a later date.

4. Mesa Top Loop Road

Mesa Top Loop Road is also a 6-mile driving tour featuring 700 years of Ancestral Pueblo history, villages, cliff dwellings and overlooks.

5. Park Point

Park Point features a short walk to the highest point in the park at 8,572 feet. With spectacular views across the Four Corners Region, you'll want to be sure to have your camera ready to go.

Looking through the telescope

6. Spruce Tree House

Who comes to Mesa Verde without wanting to see the amazing cliff dwellings carved into the side of the mountain? Spruce Tree House Overlook offers a view of the park’s best-preserved cliff dwelling.

Mesa Verde Tours and Dwellings: Guided Tours

If you wish to see the Mesa Verde Dwellings up close and personal, then you'll definitely want to reserve your space on one or more of the guided tours offered by the park service.

Take note of the physical requirements for these hikes as you will be climbing ladders and scaling the side of cliff using carved footholds.

Stone Steps Carved Out of Rock Cliff in Mesa Verde

Tickets and Reservations

Be sure to have a copy of your receipt to go on a tour. You can use a screenshot of your receipt or bring a paper copy. Ticketed tours with a ranger are required to enter the cliff dwellings. Tours run from mid May to the middle of October.

" Tour tickets can be purchased only on recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Tickets are available 14 days in advance, 8:00 am MT, on a rolling daily window. For example, tickets for May 17th will be available starting May 3rd at 8:00 am MT. Demand for tour tickets is high. We recommend reserving tickets as soon as they become available. " ~ Recreation.gov

Cliff Dwellings & Tours

Mesa Verde National Park is open year round; timed-entry reservations are required between May and October. Once in the park, tickets are available for ranger-led tours of a number of cliff dwellings.

7. Cliff Palace

Get up close and personal with Cliff Palace. As the largest cliff dwelling in North America, the architecture and design is amazing. It was built between 1190 and 1280 CE, and offered residence to over 100 people.

Getting to Cliff Palace requires you to climb down uneven stone steps and four ladders. Total walking distance is 1/4 mile.

Cliff Palace

8. Balcony House

Scaling ladders as the Ancient Puebloans must have done and then squeezing through a narrow tunnel on your hands and knees makes this a tour for adventurous souls. Some of these passages were used over 800 years ago!

Check the website for the tour specification and times.

Square Tower House

9. Square Tower House

Square Tower House is the tallest standing structure in the park complete with original plaster, paint, roof, and rock art. Mesa Top Loop offers a great view of the tower from the overlook, but the ranger-led tour of Square Tower House is a glimpse into one of Mesa Verde's most impressive cliff dwellings.

The hike to Square Tower House is a strenuous 90-minute, 1-mile round-trip hike. If you have a fear of heights, you may wish to view this dwelling from one of the overlooks. The path is unpaved and uneven and includes cliff drop-offs, switchbacks, and two ladders for you to climb down. Each tour participant must have the ability to climb over boulders and navigate steep trails unassisted.

10. Ranger-led vs Ranger Assisted Tours

Ranger-led tours are hour long tours through some of the ancestral dwellings. The ranger-assisted tours are timed-entry experiences that allow you to move through the cliff dwellings at your own pace. Rangers are stationed along your route to answer questions and facilitate your experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the elevation of mesa verde national park.

The elevation of Mesa Verde ranges from 6,800 feet in the south to 8,570 feet along the northern border.

Is it possible to spend 12 hours in Mesa Verde?

You will get a chance to see a lot of the dwellings within twelve hours. If you plan to participate in any of the ranger-led tours, you may wish to give yourself an extra day to explore.

What is the Mesa Verde meaning?

Mesa Verde is spanish for "green table" .

What is the best time of year to visit Mesa Verde?

While Mesa Verde National Park is open year round, the best time to visit would be from May to October. This is also the time that you would need to have timed-entry reservations to enter the park.

What is a kiva in Mesa Verde?

Kivas, a Hopi word, were underground rooms that tended to be round and small household areas that were used for daily activities as well as for special ceremonies on occasion.

What is the landscape on the mesa?

Having suffered through three big fires, much of the mesa is fairly barren. There are some trees closer to the overlook points.

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Final thoughts on 10 epic mesa verde tours on a national park road trip in colorado.

On our first visit to Mesa Verde National Park, Chris and I marveled at the cliff dwellings. I found myself wondering how the Puebloan people climbed down to their homes using small footholds and ladders? What about small children? Did these homes keep intruders out? You may wonder the same.

Be sure to sign up for one of the Mesa Verde tours to experience an up close and personal experience for yourself.

You will surely leave with a greater sense of their building skills, adaptability, methods of self-preservation, and a general sense of day to day life on the mesa.

You may also enjoy these posts about Colorado...

  • 15 Best Places in Colorado This Summer for Family Travel
  • 25 Best Hikes in Colorado Near Denver
  • All Aboard for the Best Adventures in Glenwood Springs!
  • 10 Best Things to Do In Breckenridge in Summer
  • Top 10 Fun Family Adventures in Colorado Springs
  • 5 Best Things to Do In Estes Park, Colorado
  • 10 Best Things To Do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

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mesa verde national park bus tours

  • Park History
  • Archaeological Sites
  • Balcony House
  • Cliff Palace
  • Spruce Tree House
  • United Nations World Heritage
  • Travel Tips
  • Current Weather
  • Getting Here
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Photos & Videos
  • Green Travel Tips
  • Mesa Verde Lodging Experience
  • Far View Lodge
  • Morefield Campground
  • Mesa Verde Dining Experience
  • Metate Room Restaurant
  • Far View Terrace Cafe
  • Far View Lounge
  • Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe
  • Mesa Verde Tour Experience
  • 700 Years Tour
  • Group Tours
  • Private Tours
  • Request for Proposal
  • Snapshot Tour
  • Sample Itineraries
  • Cliff Dwellings
  • Morefield Explorer Scavenger Hunt
  • Upcoming Events
  • Lodging Specials
  • Member Programs
  • Email Sign Up
  • Retrieve Reservations

Experience a group trip to a destination like no other in the world – Mesa Verde National Park. When you plan your event at Far View Lodge, you’ll stay inside the park surrounded by magnificent Southwest Colorado panoramas – ready to experience the tours, activities and natural scenery of the Park.

For many groups, Mesa Verde offers more than a place of history, nature, and beauty -- inspiring a deeper connection with each other and with the earth. 

Your group will enjoy quiet rooms with private balconies and 100-mile views. RV facilities and group campsites are also available. 

At Mesa Verde, special services for your group include:

Our staff of planners and caterers are here to help you plan your group event at Mesa Verde. It all starts with an email to [email protected]

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IMAGES

  1. MESA VERDE TOUR EXPERIENCE (Parc national de Mesa Verde): Ce qu'il faut

    mesa verde national park bus tours

  2. Guided Bus Tours at Mesa Verde National Park Editorial Stock Image

    mesa verde national park bus tours

  3. Mesa Verde National Park 1/2 Day Tour

    mesa verde national park bus tours

  4. Mesa Verde Tour Experience

    mesa verde national park bus tours

  5. Ultimate Guide to the Cliff Palace Tour at Mesa Verde

    mesa verde national park bus tours

  6. Ancient Tours

    mesa verde national park bus tours

VIDEO

  1. Mesa Verde National Park

  2. National Park Bus Spotting

  3. Mesa Verde Video

  4. Mesa Verde National Park

  5. Cliff Palace Tour in Mesa Verde National Park. The largest Cliff Dwelling in North America

  6. 5/19/2017 360 outside Mesa Verde National Park Visitor/Research Center

COMMENTS

  1. THE 5 BEST Mesa Verde National Park Bus Tours

    Bus Tours in Mesa Verde National Park Enter dates Tours Filters • 1 Sort All things to do Category types Attractions Tours Outdoor Activities Traveler Resources Product Categories Bus Tours Historical & Heritage Tours Archaeology Tours Sightseeing Tours Flexible booking Free cancellation Price $0 - $500 + Duration Up to 1 hour 1 to 4 hours

  2. Cliff Dwelling Tours

    Cliff Dwelling Tours A tour of Long House with Ranger Joe NPS/Kayla McCraren To enter all cliff dwellings you must be on a ticketed tour with a ranger. Cliff dwelling tours have concluded for the 2023 season. Dates for the 2024 season have not yet been announced.

  3. Introduction to Mesa Verde Tour

    Book Now Tour Overview Tour Prices Hop on our mini-tour bus with our NAI Certified Interpretive guide to experience many aspects of Mesa Verde National Park.

  4. Mesa Verde National Park Tours

    (3,433) Major Cell Coverage Issues Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

  5. Coach / Bus Tours in Mesa Verde National Park 2024

    Coach / Bus Tours in Mesa Verde National Park 2024. Take in the picturesque landscapes and remarkable sights on a guided Coach / Bus adventure of Mesa Verde National Park. There are 11 vacation packages to choose from, that range in length from 7 days up to 15 days. The most popular month for these tours is June.

  6. 700 Years Tours

    Morefield Campground. Our 700 Years Tour is our most popular Mesa Verde Tour - so book early. And don't forget to bring your camera in order to take home more than just memories. Park Entrance Fee. Entrance Type. January 2 - April 30 &. November 1 - December 31. May 1 - October 31.

  7. Mesa Verde Tour Experience

    Guided Mesa Verde tours begin in our comfortable coaches as they transport you to Chapin Mesa. Short walks on simple trails take you to the earliest Mesa Top sites and to the magnificent and more adventurous Cliff Palace - the largest and most awe-inspiring cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park.

  8. Mesa Verde Tour Experience

    4 hours Learn about the history of the Mesa Verde National Park's Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings on this half-day cultural tour… Free cancellation from $108 per adult Reserve

  9. Mesa Verde National Park Tours & Trips 2024

    US$2,725 View tour Download Brochure View Map In-depth Cultural Family +4 Colourful Trails of the Southwest (End Santa Fe, 10 Days)

  10. Your Guide to the Mesa Verde National Park Tours in 2022

    The Cliff Palace tour is the easiest and fastest tour, and it's also the most popular cliff dwelling picture you see when you google Mesa Verde National Park.You go through the tour listening to the ranger's narrative and move through the cliff dwelling without touching anything. The Balcony House tour requires a better fitness level and takes an hour to complete.

  11. Mesa Verde Tours

    5 Ages 10+ Discover Mesa Verde with an Archaeologist trained guide! Come take a look into the lives of the Ance... Book Now Package Info From $179 Mesa Verde Guided Tour Group Tour 7 Hours Ages 4+ Book a Mesa Verde guided tour and learn about the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made Mesa... Book Now Package Info From $289

  12. Mesa Verde National Park Half-Day Small-Group Tour 2023

    90 Reviews Mancos, United States From $129.71 Lowest Price Guarantee Select Date and Travelers Check Availability Reserve Now & Pay Later Secure your spot while staying flexible Free cancellation Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more See the best of Mesa Verde National Park, all in one tour

  13. Plan Your Visit

    Plan Your Visit Closures While much of the park is open, Mesa Verde has several safety and project-related closures in place, including the Wetherill Mesa Road and Spruce Tree House. Follow the link for more information on current closures. The trail to Step House (NPS) Things to Do Things to do at Mesa Verde Cliff Dwelling Tour Tickets

  14. THE 10 BEST Mesa Verde National Park Tours & Excursions

    Bus Tours Historical & Heritage Tours Archaeology Tours Sightseeing Tours Flexible booking Free cancellation Price $0 - $500 + Duration Up to 1 hour 1 to 4 hours 4 hours to 1 day Traveler rating & up & up & up Languages English See All Tour Operators 10 places sorted by featured

  15. Mesa Verde National Park

    $115 Book Now FULL DAY MESA VERDE TOUR - MOST POPULAR Join our park experts for a full day on the Mesa Verde National Park Tour! We depart Durango, Colorado first thing in the morning and arrive at the Visitor Center before the crowds. From there we travel into the park and begin exploring.

  16. 10 Epic Mesa Verde Tours on a National Park Road Trip in Colorado

    Tours run from mid May to the middle of October. " Tour tickets can be purchased only on recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777. Tickets are available 14 days in advance, 8:00 am MT, on a rolling daily window. For example, tickets for May 17th will be available starting May 3rd at 8:00 am MT.

  17. Far View Site Tour

    Motorcycle. $15.00. $25.00. The Far View Site Tour includes short walks, visits to archaeological sites covering a 700 year time period, and feature some of the finest examples of Puebloan life and architecture in Mesa Verde National Park.

  18. Mesa Verde National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    For over 700 years, the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde. Today, the park protects the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and Tribes and offers visitors a spectacular window into the past. This World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park is home to over a thousand species, including several that live nowhere else on earth.

  19. 10 Epic Mesa Verde Tours on a National Park Road Trip in Colorado

    Discover the picturesque beauty of Mesa Verde National park. Consider driving from Denver to Mesa Verde for an epic National Park Road Trip. Marvel at the cliff dwellings, stay a night or two in ...

  20. Boscov's Travel: Bus Trips and Packages

    Exclusives. Bus Trips. For more than 45 years, we've made taking trips fun for the entire group. Leave the driving to us and enjoy one-day excursions, weekend getaways or week long bus trips. With a deluxe motorcoach experience that typically includes reclining seats and a restroom onboard, you can enjoy your trip the moment you step on board.

  21. Greyhound Destinations: Bus Tickets to Popular Destinations

    Book your bus trip with Greyhound—the largest intercity bus service across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Find bus tickets, stations and schedules.

  22. Moscow Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tours

    Travel around Moscow at your own pace and enjoy a leisurely journey with our 48-hour ticket. After all, you'll have more time to hop off at each bus stop and visit all of the 26 attractions on the Green Line! With the 48-hour ticket you're guaranteed to have enough time to hop off and complete the walking tour included in the price of the Hop ...

  23. Group Travel

    Mesa Verde Tour Experience. 700 Years Tour. Introduction to Mesa Verde Tour. Group Tours. Private Tours. Request for Proposal. Snapshot Tour. Things to Do. Sample Itineraries. Hiking. Shopping. Cliff Dwellings. Dining. ... Mesa Verde National Park 34879 Highway 160 Mancos, CO 81328.

  24. Moscow Open Top Red Bus Tours

    Create your perfect combo. Take exploring to a whole new level and move your adventure to the water with our City Sightseeing Moscow River Cruise. You'll get a great view of the whole city as we travel down the Vodootvodny canal. You have the option of combining your Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with the Boat Tour or you can just purchase your River ...