Driving Mesa Verde National Park ColoradoPin

Driving Mesa Verde National Park Colorado

Depending on how much time you have, Mesa Verde National Park has a handful of options for exploring the park. If time is limited, drive to the overlooks. It’s one of the best ways to get a taste of what the park has to offer.

Driving Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - All the Best Stops // localadventurer.comPin

Mesa Verde National Park’s 3 Major Loops to Drive

  1. Mesa Top loop
  2. Cliff Palace loop
  3. Long House loop

The ranger recommended the 6-mile Mesa Top loop, which has surface dwellings and viewpoints to many of the cliff dwellings (including Cliff Palace). The Long House was closed for restoration when we visited, so we decided not to drive down the long and windy Long House loop.

On the Mesa Top loop, the Square Tower House and Sun Point Overlook are worth the stop. You should also stop at Sun Point and Sun Temple, because you get a great view of Cliff Palace.

The Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America and was built by Ancestral Puebloans. It's located in Mesa Verde National Park Colorado // localadventurer.comPin
Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings - So hard to believe that these structures still exist in the US // localadventurer.comPinMesa Verde Cliff Dwellings - So hard to believe that these structures still exist in the US // localadventurer.comPinSquare Tower House Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado USA // localadventurer.comPin

We saw so much wildlife while driving around!

So much wildlife! - Mesa Verde National Park Colorado // localadventurer.comPinSo much wildlife! - Mesa Verde National Park Colorado // localadventurer.comPin
So Many Wild Horses at Mesa Verde National Park CO USA // localadventurer.comPin
Wild Horses at Mesa Verde National Park Colorado USA // localadventurer.comPinMesa Verde Cliff Dwellings - So hard to believe that these structures still exist in the US // localadventurer.comPin
Horses in Mesa Verde National Park - surprisingly see so much wildlife here // localadventurer.comPin
Turkeys at Mesa Verde National Park - anyone hungry? ha // localadventurer.comPinMesa Verde National Park Colorado USA // localadventurer.comPin
Oak Tree House Mesa Verde National Park Colorado USA // localadventurer.comPin
Soda Canyon Overlook Trail - short, easy trail in Mesa Verde National Park // localadventurer.comPin
The Navajo Canyon Colorado USA - You can find cliff dwellings built by Ancestral Puebloans // localadventurer.comPin
Mesa Verde Hemenway House // localadventurer.comPinCliff Palace Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - the largest cliff dwelling in North America. It was built by Ancestral Puebloans. // localadventurer.comPin
The Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America and was built by Ancestral Puebloans. It's located in Mesa Verde National Park ColoradoPin
Cliff Palace Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - This place is incredible! // localadventurer.comPinCliff Palace Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - This place is incredible! // localadventurer.comPin
Cliff Palace Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - the largest cliff dwelling in North America. It was built by Ancestral Puebloans. // localadventurer.comPin
Cliff Palace Mesa Verde National Park Colorado - the largest cliff dwelling in North America. It was built by Ancestral Puebloans. // localadventurer.comPin
Road to Mesa Verde National Park // localadventurer.comPin

TIPS FOR DRIVING MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK COLORADO

  • The drive is approximately 45 minutes from the Visitor Center to the beginning of the Mesa Top loop and Cliff Palace loop.
  • Set aside at least 2 hours if you want to see everything on the Mesa Top loop. We spent roughly an hour and a half. We took our time taking photos of the cliff dwellings but skipped all but one surface dwelling.
  • If you have time to do a tour (1 hour), we HIGHLY recommend it. We did the Balcony House tour, which was the highlight of our trip here!
  • If you have extra time, drive down the Cliff Palace Loop to where the Cliff Palace tours meet. It doesn’t seem like many people stop here because all the signs say “tour ticket required”, but you can actually walk down to where the tour starts and get a great view from above.
  • To help you plan the rest of your trip, check out other 7 things you can’t miss at Mesa Verde National Park.

Have you been or do you plan on visiting Mesa Verde National Park?

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