P.O. Box 8
Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330-0008
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
- Private car fees: $10 (Except May 24-September 7: $15) Fee good for 7 Days
- Motorcycle fees: $5 (Except May 24-September 7: $8) Fee good for 7 Days
- Coach fees: Minibus (16-25 people) $100, Motor coach (over 26 people) $200.
- Tour prices for Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House--$3.00 per person.
- Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in the park. It has 150 rooms and 75open areas. 21 of the rooms are kivas and 25 to 30 rooms have residential features. Number of people living in Cliff Palace at any one time was 100 – 120.
- Honored by Condé Nast Traveler as the #1 Readers’ Choice of National Historical Monuments in the world.
- Recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the 50 “Must See” places in a lifetime.
- Established on June 29, 1906 to protect & preserve the dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people.
- Sites inhabited between A.D. 550 and A.D. 1300.
- Wilderness Designation: October 20, 1976.
- Recognized as a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 6, 1978.
- Artifact Collection: Mesa Verde has over 2 million artifacts. One of the largest archeological collections in the National Park System.
- Acreage: 52,123 acres
- Wilderness area: 8,100 acres
- Visitor services provided: Cliff dwelling tours, walks & talks by National Park Rangers, lodging, food, gift shops, interpretive tours by the park concession company-- ARAMARK Mesa Verde Company, book sales by the park cooperating association, Mesa Verde Museum Association, Inc.
- Season: Far View Lodge & Far View Terrace open from late April through early October. Certain sites in the park are open 365 days a year.
Often Asked Questions:
- Where are the Indians?
Everywhere! Today, Native Americans are part of everyday life and culture in Mesa Verde Country® and enjoy many of the shopping, dining, and recreational activities the area has to offer. At the Cortez Cultural Center, Native American dances and cultural performances are offered six nights a week during the summer. Galleries and trading posts in Mesa Verde Country® reflect the culture and creativity of the southwest as it is represented today.
- Why aren’t there stairs to the upper stories of the cliff dwellings?
Eight hundred years ago, “staircases” more often took the form of ladders, or hand and toeholds carved into the sandstone cliffs. Today, visitors may visit these dwellings first-hand. At Mesa Verde National Park, a park ranger guides visitors down a 100-foot canyon descent, up a ladder to a second-story dwelling, through a tunnel, and up a sandstone cliff (but no hand or toeholds required.)
- Why is everything so old?
Because much of Mesa Verde Country® is old! Nowhere else in the United States is there found such a concentration of archeological sites. With its spectacular mesa-top villages and multi-story cliff dwellings, there’s a reason Mesa Verde National Park was deemed one of “1000 Places to See Before You Die.”
- Why did they build the cliff dwellings so far away from the road?
The Ancestral Puebloans actually did not build their homes far away from the road, our current roads did not exist when they lived here. However, they did have their own trails and trading routes that connected them to their neighbors and to trading partners as far away as present-day California and Mexico. Macaw feathers and copper bells found in archaeological sites are indicators that trade was occurring. Today our National Scenic Byway, Trail of the Ancients, takes visitors to all the incredible archaeological sites in Mesa Verde Country®. But, you need to get out of your car and really enjoy all that every stop along the Trail has to offer.
Mesa Verde Country® is the southwest Colorado travel destination surrounding Mesa Verde National Park. The towns of Cortez, Dolores, Mancos, and Towaoc, and the entire Mesa Verde Country® area, comprise the archaeological center of America. Mesa Verde Country® (www.mesaverdecountry.com)
Mesa Verde National Park official government site: www.nps.gov/meve/