Self Guided Tours

Mesa Verde National Park is mostly a self-guided experience. To actually get very close to and inside the cliff dwellings you have to buy tickets for and take a Ranger Guided Tour. However, there are some great parts of the park that require no tickets and can be enjoyed at your own pace as self guided tours. It is difficult to pick out which tours will be best for your group. Another option is the Mesa Verde National Park Tour which provides you with a park expert to explore these self-guided areas with and provide interpretive information along the way.

Archeological Museum

The museum at Mesa Verde on Chapin Mesa will take you through the Ancenstral Puebloan history as well as the history behind the discovery and creation of the park as it is today. Hours vary throughout the year but it is open most everyday.

Spruce Tree House

Spruce Tree House is very convenient with free Ranger Guided tours three times daily. Self guided tours are allowed all day. 2017 UPDATE: Spruce Tree House is closed for the foreseeable future due to wall instability and rockfall. It can be viewed from the overlook near the Museum.

CREDIT: NPS/Kayla Eiler and Jeffery Brown

Mesa Top Loop

This loop has many quick stops throughout with big overlooks into some of the park’s cliff dwellings including Cliff Palace.

Step House on Wetherill Mesa

A short hike brings you to Step House, a great self-guided cliff dwelling away from the larger crowds at Chapin Mesa.

Mesa Verde Information

  • Special Tours for Photographers
    Special Tours for Photographers
    Mesa Verde Park Staff is offering two special tours for Summer 2017! There will be four special sunrise tours of Balcony House and Twilight Tours of Cliff Palace everyday May 26 – Sept 9. These tours will offer a unique oppoerunity to capture these spectacular cliff...
  • Petroglyph Point Trail Hike
    Petroglyph Point Trail Hike
    The Petroglyph Point Trail is a lovely excursion for the active bunch to do while visiting Mesa Verde. The 2.4 mile trail is a good activity to do during the heat of the day. The majority of the trail and most strenuous part is shaded, ending...
  • Step House on Wetherill Mesa
    Step House on Wetherill Mesa
    This self-guided tour of Step House on Wetherill Mesa is quick and accessible from the trail, 3/4 mile in length that loops the dwelling. We recommend doing this either at the beginning or end of the day due to the high sun exposure of the trail...

Park Alerts

  • Spruce Tree House Temporarily Closed
    Spruce Tree House Temporarily Closed
    Spruce Tree House, an iconic self-guided cliff dwelling in the heart of Chapin Mesa, is unfortunately CLOSED for the unforeseeable future due to concerns about rock fall. It can still be viewed from the Museum overlook....
Self Guided Tours April 15, 2017