Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States.
Visiting Cliff Palace, Balcony House, or Long House: Want to visit a Mesa Verde cliff dwelling? To go to Cliff Palace, Balcony House, or Long House, you will first need to purchase a tour ticket. Ranger-guided tours are offered seasonally, and provide you with the opportunity to hike into and experience these Ancestral Puebloan sites. Tour tickets can ONLY be purchased in person at the Far View Visitor Center. (From Oct. 19 to Nov. 8, tickets are available at the Chapin Museum.)
There are a number of cliff dwellings that can be toured during your visit to Mesa Verde National Park. Most of these can only be visited by taking a ranger-guided tour. Two are open seasonally on a self-guided basis.
Descendants of Mesa Verde Ancestral Puebloans include the Hopi in Arizona, and the 19 Rio Grande pueblos of New Mexico: Taos, Picuris, Sandia, Isleta, San Juan, Santa Clara, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Tesuque, Jemez, Cochiti, Pojoaque, Santo Domingo, San Felipe, Santa Ana, Zia, Laguna, Acoma, and Zuni.
Mesa Verde National Park Schedules
Mesa Verde National Park is open year-round, but some facilities, tours, and access to archeological sites are seasonal. To make the most out of your trip, take a look at the 2008 park schedules to see what will be available at the time of your visit.
Mesa Verde National Park Climate
Mesa Verde National Park has mild to hot weather during summer months. During some winters, the weather is also mild. Snow storms can occur as late as May and as early as October, but usually both of these months are pleasant. June through September are warm to hot, with cool evenings. Afternoon thunderstorms are common during July and August.