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.
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.