Mesa Verde National Park can be a great experience with kids. There are numerous family activities throughout the park and camping area that will keep everyone engaged. Many of the self guided tours are also manageable for young kids.
Spruce Tree House
The most easily accessed and one of the most well preserved cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, Spruce Tree House is a must see. There is a short hike down from the Archaeological Museum on Chapin Mesa with ample parking and food services near by. 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.
Cliff Palace Ranger Guided Tour
Do not miss this tour of the biggest cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde! Your Ranger gives a very informative speach about the area at the beginning and guides the group beneath Cliff Palace discussing various aspects of the dwelling. This tour is not recommended for small children who cannot climb a ladder, as the only exit is up a long rock and metal stairway with several ladders to climb.
Mesa Top Loop
Easy to access with abundant scenic views, short hikes, and distant shots of cliff dwellings, Mesa Loop is a great way to spend some time in the park with your family. Some of the best stops are the Square Tower House, Sun Point Overlook, and the Cliff Palace Overlook. The loop total 6 miles and the stops have nice paved hiking trails.
Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program at Mesa Verde is a great experience for kids. On National Park Tours we will pick up activity books for kids ages 4 – 12 with activities for them to complete all day. Near the end of the day we will stop by the Junior Ranger Station for the kids to be sworn in as Mesa Verde Junior Park Rangers and receive a badge. The Junior Ranger Station also has fun hands-on learning activities for the kids! It is located right next to the Archaeological Museum. Download the Junior Ranger Booklet
Durango’s Family Activities
Durango Colorado is the Southwest’s activity mecca. The Animas River runs right through town and provides a great river rafting for the whole family. Jump aboard the Historic Durango Silverton Railroad for a trip through the San Juan Mountains to the old mining town of Silverton. The La Plata Mountains, visible from Mesa Verde, give a special opportunity to take a scenic 4×4 tour to 12,000 ft in elevation!