Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Quick Facts

Mesa Verde National Park


(906) 452-6227

Map Directions

Things To Do


Mesa Verde, Spanish for "green table", offers an unparalleled opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. The culture represented at Mesa Verde reflects more than 700 years of history. From approximately A.D. 600 through A.D. 1300 people lived and flourished in communities throughout the area, eventually building elaborate stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls. Today most people call these sheltered villages "cliff dwellings". The cliff dwellings represent the last 75 to 100 years of occupation at Mesa Verde. In the late 1200s within the span of one or two generations, they left their homes and moved away. The archeological sites found in Mesa Verde are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. Mesa Verde National Park offers visitors a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people. Scientists study the ancient dwellings of Mesa Verde, in part, by making comparisons between the Ancestral Pueblo people and their contemporary indigenous descendants who still live in the Southwest today. Twenty-four Native American tribes in the southwest have an ancestral affiliation with the sites at Mesa Verde. To fully enjoy Mesa Verde National Park, plan to spend a day or two exploring its world-class archeological sites as well as its beautiful landscape.

Map of Mesa Verde

Latitude, Longitude: 37.253132, -108.446662



  • Bird Watching

    Mesa Verde National Park is home to several distinct habitats. The types of species which you will encounter depends on the habitat present. If you are an avid birder, make sure to purchase a copy of the brochure, "Checklist of the Birds." This will help you locate where species are found in the park. The listing of birds in this page will get you started as a bird watcher in Mesa Verde.

  • Camping

    The Morefield Campground, just four miles inside the park has nearly 400 sites, and there's always plenty of space! The campground rarely fills. Each site has a table, bench, and grill. Camping is open to tents, trailers and RVs, including 15 full hookup RV sites that require reservations. The campground is open Mid-May to mid-October.

  • Hiking

    Hiking in the park gives visitors a wide-rage of hiking opportunities. Hiking on the trails will take visitors up steep ridges, through valleys and canyons and provide outstanding views throughout the park. There are trails that range from easy to difficult and suit hikers of all abilities.

  • Historic Sites

    The Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum provides a great opportunity for visitors to learn about the park's cultural history. The museum displays dioramas illustrating Ancestral Puebloan life. There are also many exhibits of prehistoric artifacts, a chronology of Ancestral Puebloan culture, and other items related to the park.

  • Picnicking

    Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe, located in a historic building near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and Spruce Tree House, this is a perfect place for a casual lunch or dinner. Dine inside, on the outdoor patio, or pick up a lunch-to-go and enjoy a picnic in the park.

  • Winter Sports

    Winter activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Mesa Verde can be a very peaceful experience. Many times you may be the only person around. Because most of the trees are bare, wildlife is more visible in the winter. You may even be able to find their tracks in the snow.

    In recent years, there has not been enough snow to cross-country ski or snowshoe except for a few days during the winter after a heavy snowfall. Colorado's dry climate and sunshine cause the snow to melt quickly after a snow storm.


The park is open daily, year-round. 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.

Park Partners

Mesa Verde Museum Association

The Mesa Verde Bookstore is operated by the Mesa Verde Museum Association, a non-profit organization partnered with Mesa Verde National Park since 1930. Mesa Verde Museum Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service and Mesa Verde National Park, assists and supports various interpretive programs, research activities and visitor services.

Mesa Verde Foundation
A non-profit whose goal is to promote and fund cultural, capital and educational programs and provide a greater understanding of the park and its resources.

(800) 305-6053

ARAMARK Parks & Destinations

Mesa Verde National Park offers lodging, dining, retail, facility services, and a campground/RV park. Take a guided tour to experience the 700 years of history through thousands of archaeological sites and cliff dwellings. Aramark is the primary concessioner in the park. Aramark operates the Far View Cafe and Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe. One restaurant, the Metate Room, can be found in the park. Aramark also runs the Morefield Campground and the Far View Lodge.

(800) 449-2288



Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.

The closest bus terminal is located in Durango, Colorado. Car rental is needed to get from the bus terminal to the park. The entrance to Mesa Verde is 35 miles from Durango.


The nearest airports are Cortez, Colorado, Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico.

Public Transportation

The closest bus terminal is located in Durango, Colorado. Car rental is needed to get from the bus terminal to the park. The entrance to Mesa Verde is 35 miles from Durango.

Phone Numbers


(906) 452-6227


(970) 529-4461

Road conditions

(970) 529-4461



I was looking for ticket prices and hours for the Centers.  None of this information is posted.  I also saw that there is a Lodge at the National Park but there is no information for that service either. 

Your site give a nice but very generalized overview of the Park but no specific information is given with which to make plans to visit the park.  I am led to believe that visitors just show up and hope that they can sign on for a tour or purchase tickets when they arrive. 

I am new at navigating through your sites (even those at other National Parks) and this system does not appear to be very "user friendly".  I am sure that will change as I learn more "tricks" to navigating through your "windows" to gather the information I'm looking for.