Mesa Verde National Park Facts
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Mesa Verde National Park is located in the southwestern corner of Colorado, adjacent to
the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico
Plane - The nearest airports are in Cortez (CEZ) and Durango (DRO), Colorado
Car - Mesa Verde’s cliff dwellings and ancient sites are a one-hour drive from Cortez, heading
east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, heading
west on Highway 160 to the Park turnoff.
Mesa Verde National Park is the largest archaeological preserve in North America and
an integral part of the Southwest’s Grand Circle region. A World Heritage site, Mesa
Verde has been named “Number One Historic Monument in the World” by Condé Nast
Traveler and “One of 50 Places to Visit in a Lifetime” by National Geographic.
The Ancient Puebloans called Mesa Verde home for more than 700 years from 500 A.D.
to 1300 A.D. During that time, they built over 4,400 sites including 600 cliff dwellings
before suddenly leaving the land in the 13th century. Mesa Verde National Park was
established in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt to protect these ruins and is the first and
only national park designated specifically for the preservation of human culture.
Mesa Verde National Park and the Chapin Mesa Museum are open year-round. Visitor
accommodations, Interpretive guided and self-guided tours and Far View Visitor Center
is open mid-April through mid-October and limited services are available in winter.
Far View Lodge - Right in the heart of Mesa Verde National Park, Far View Lodge is the most convenient
location for visiting the park and offers the best views from any accommodations in the
area. Situated 8,250 feet above sea level, Far View Lodge offers spectacular views into
four states. The Southwestern-style lodge offers 150 rooms, dining, a gift shop, seasonal
events and activities and is the embarking point for many guided tours.
Mesa Verde National Park Morefield Campground
Mesa Verde’s Morefield Campground is located in a large wooded area 4 miles within
the Park. The 435-site campground includes amenities such as a café, gas station, an
RV station, hot showers, coin-operated laundry and a grocery store, as well as access to
food, supplies and firewood. Sites include a barbecue grill, picnic table and benches, Wi-
Fi access and 15 full hook-up RV sites.
Metate Room - This upscale restaurant inside Far View Lodge features contemporary, sustainable
interpretations of heritage foods with a Southwestern flair. Metate Room won the
American Culinary Federation Colorado Chefs Association’s first-ever “Award of Culinary
Excellence” in 2010. The menu features game meats as well as traditional favorites,
along with a selection of more than 100 wines from around the world that have been
selected by our consulting sommelier.
Far View Café & Gift Shop offers more casual fare located in the retail complex across
from the Visitor Center and near the Far View Lodge. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are
served. Mesa Mocha Espresso Bar is located inside Far View Cafe for a wide selection
of made-to-order beverages.
ARAMARK Mesa Verde National Park, the authorized concessioner for Mesa Verde,
offers half-day guided interpreted bus tours, step-on guides and private tours of the cliff
dwellings and ancient sites.
Classic Pueblo Tour – Ranger-guided tour that shares contemporary interpretation of
archaeology and culture of the Ancestral Puebloans. This 3-hour tour includes Triple
Cities, Square Tower overlook, Sun Point, Sun Temple and a walking tour of Cliff Palace
dwelling. Departs from Far View Lodge (with pick up at Far View Terrace). Tour length:
3.5 hours. $38/Adult and $20/Child 5 -11-years, less than 4 years free.
700 Years Tour - A chronological journey from the earliest recorded Pithouse villages
(600A.D.) to the Classic Pueblo era of cliff dwellings dated from the 13th century
including Cliff Palace. This tour provides the visitor an overall historical view of the
Ancestral Puebloans architectural, horticultural, cultural, and religious dimensions of
their lives in the Southwest. Departs from Far View Lodge - pick up at Far View Terrace
8:00a.m.-12:00 noon. Pricing: Adults $45; children 5 to 11 - $34. Children under 4 years
and younger – free.
The National Park Service also operates individual ranger-guided walking tours in the
Park, with admission tickets sold at Far View Visitor Center on a first-come, first-serve
basis the day of the tour. For more information visit: www.nps.gov/meve.
In addition to guided tours, many of Mesa Verde’s sites may be visited independently.
The Park offers numerous well-maintained trails.
Hiking – Hiking in Mesa Verde National Park is allowed only on designated trails.
Visitors may not enter cliff dwellings unless accompanied by a uniformed park ranger.
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum – Built in 1924, the museum contains
information exhibits and a bookstore of artifacts of the Ancestral Puebloans. The
museum is five miles/15-minute drive from the Far View Visitor Center.
ENVIRONMENTALPROGRAM Green Thread®
At ARAMARK, we have a deep respect for and commitment to protecting and improving
the environment. We work to reduce our environmental footprint while delivering
exceptional operational results. We also offer expertise and practical solutions to our
clients to help them reduce their environmental impacts. Throughout our company, we
develop and implement long-term environmental stewardship programs and policies
within the areas of food purchasing; supply chain; building operations; energy and water
conservation; transportation and waste management. We believe sustainability is a
process and have implemented environmental management systems that serve as the
basis for continuous improvement.
ARAMARK Mesa Verde National Park, part of ARAMARK Parks and Destinations,
manages concessions at Mesa Verde National Park under the authorization of the
National Park Service. ARAMARK Parks and Destinations, a division of ARAMARK,
delivers authentic and memorable experiences at national and state parks, national
forests, specialty hotels, museums, and other tourist destinations throughout the United
States. In partnership with its clients, ARAMARK Parks and Destinations looks to
enhance the guest experience by offering industry-leading hospitality, environmental
stewardship, recreational, and interpretive programs. For more information on
ARAMARK Parks and Destinations and its properties visit:
For more information about Mesa Verde National Park, visit http://www.nps.gov/meve/