How to Get Your Time-Travel Ticket
With a ticket for Mesa Verde Ranger Tours you can step back in time about a thousand years! The cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park were constructed between 900 – 1300AD and were home to the Puebloan peoples.
Imagine being able to explore these fascinating structures, to walk in the footsteps of those from so long ago. That is exactly what you can do when you embark on a ranger-led tour.
Although the Chapin Mesa loop (where the most popular tours are located – Balcony House and Cliff Palace) is currently closed for road construction, there are other tour options not to be missed.
Tickets are available ONLINE ONLY and sell fast so it is recommended that you purchase them as soon as they are available (14 days before your visit).
Choose from four cliff dwellings where knowledgeable rangers take you into the dwellings, explain what you see, and answer your questions. Here are the tours currently available:
Long House – Second largest cliff dwelling, views of canyon and mesa
Duration: 60 minutes
Distance: 2.25 miles
Number of steps to climb: 150
Mug House – Includes adobe cave, petroglyphs, canyon views
Duration: 90 minutes
Distance: 3 miles
Number of steps to climb: 20
Spring House – Largest excavated dwelling
Duration: 8 hours
Distance: 8 miles
Number of steps to climb: 40
Square Tower House – Tallest standing structure, petroglyphs
Duration: 90 minutes
Distance: 1 mile
Again, DO NOT WAIT to purchase tickets – they will not be available. Purchase online two weeks before your visit.
Other things to note:
*Your tour ticket is your receipt from your purchase so please print it out and bring it. If you want to use your phone, save the image of the receipt as a picture (take a screenshot) because there is limited cell service in the park.
*Tour fees are separate and in addition to your park entrance fee.
*Tours are generally open from June to mid October.
*If you cannot get tickets, plan to explore the FREE self guided tour of Step House on the Wetherill Mesa. It is a smaller cliff dwelling that is worth seeing. It is a 1 mile hike and is steep in places. It takes about 45 minutes though you can take your time and do it at your own pace. There is a ranger in the dwelling who can answer your questions.
*Take plenty of water as the climate is hot and dry and at 7,000-8,000 foot elevation.
*There are a couple of cafes and restaurants in the park.
*Be sure you fill up on gas before you enter the park since there are no gas stations in the park and it is a 45 minute drive to the end of the Wetherill Mesa from the park entrance.
We hope that you will enjoy your time in this unique National Park.