Visiting Mesa Verde National Park
A vacation to Southern Colorado wouldn’t be complete without a day trip to Mesa Verde National Park.
The cliff dwellings are open seasonally, so be sure you’re planning a trip when they are open.
Making a day trip to Mesa Verde is a fun experience! You can save time by knowing which tours you want to take before you arrive. Otherwise, the helpful staff at the visitor’s center can help you start your adventure.
From the end of May until early September, you can make the most of your day trip to Mesa Verde by staying to attend the Cliff Palace Twilight Tour.
Learn more about the Evening Programs.
From Pagosa Springs to Mesa Verde
Mesa Verde is 94 miles west of Pagosa Springs which takes an average of 1 hour and 44 min to drive one way.
Parking & Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to the Mesa Verde National Park is very affordable.
Find parking near the Visitor Center or explore from your vehicle and drive the Mesa Top Loop Road.
Mesa Verde Tours
At Mesa Verde, you have the opportunity to tour some of the most notable and best-preserved archeological sites in North America.
Take a guided tour with a National Association for Interpretation Certified (NAI) professional guide. Your expert guide will explain the fascinating architectural details, as well as local flora and fauna, artifacts and natural resources and their significance to the Ancestral Puebloans.
Guided Mesa Verde tours begin in coaches as they transport you to Chapin Mesa.
Short walks on simple trails take you to the earliest Mesa Top sites and to the magnificent and more adventurous Cliff Palace, the largest and most awe-inspiring cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde National Park.
Enjoy the cliff dwellings at your own pace by choosing a self-guided tour. Your options include visiting Spruce Tree House during the summer season, driving the scenic Mesa Top Loop Road, and walking the Far View Sites Complex.
A day trip can’t cover all of the tours available at Mesa Verde, which means you can enjoy a return visit in the future.
Mesa Verde served as a marketplace for the Ancestral Puebloan people. When you visit, you will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, clothing, pottery, Hopi Kachina Dolls, jewelry, posters, DVD’s, CDs, books and more.
There are 4 gift shops throughout the park and a well-stocked grocery and camp supply store.
Gift shops are located at:
Dining at Mesa Verde
From the quick and informal to an elegant evening, the menus at Mesa Verde National Park celebrate the local culture with favorites inspired by the past and present.
Dining options include:
At Morefield Campground you can start your day with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast during the summer season at Knife Edge Café in Morefield’s full-service village. There is also a store with groceries and camping supplies.
Lodging and camping at Mesa Verde
If you wish to experience Mesa Verde over night or multiple days, accommodations are available at Far View Lodge. Enjoy a peaceful retreat and the Park’s natural beauty that provides breathtaking panoramic views, wildlife and stargazing opportunities.
If camping is more your thing, then check out the Morefield Campground. At Morefield Campground you will find a beautiful canyon setting, just four and a half miles from the park entrance.
If you’ve enjoyed Mesa Verde before please share your photos and experience with Pagosa Now. If you’re planning a trip, comment and tell us what about Mesa Verde excited you the most.