Mesa Verde National Park is best known for its remarkable archaeological sites that showcase the ancient civilization of the Ancestral Puebloans. Located in southwestern Colorado, Mesa Verde preserves and protects over 5,000 archaeological sites, including nearly 600 remarkably well-preserved cliff dwellings. These dwellings, built between the 6th and 12th centuries, are carved into the cliffsides and offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Pueblo people.
The park is renowned for its iconic structures such as Cliff Palace, the largest and most famous cliff dwelling, as well as Spruce Tree House and Balcony House. These ancient structures provide insights into the complex and sophisticated lives of the Ancestral Puebloans, including their architecture, agriculture, and artistic expression. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde National Park stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resilience of the early Native American civilizations and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate this remarkable archaeological treasure.
VISIT Mesa Verde National Park:
Mesa Verde National Park was established on June 29, 1906, and has a total area of 52,485 acres (82 square miles, or 212 square kilometers).
|Address||Mile .7 Headquarters Loop Road, Mesa Verde National Park, CO, 81330|
|Hours||Open year round|
|Entrance Fee||$20 per vehicle, valid for 7 days|
|Learn More||Official Website|
When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation
Mesa Verde National Park is the 117th most visited park in the country.
We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Mesa Verde National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Mesa Verde National Park is.
Our data shows the best months to visit Mesa Verde National Park are May, June, August & July.
Mesa Verde National Park Road Trips
Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Mesa Verde National Park is visited.
|Trip Name||Trip Miles||Trip Days|
|Rockies, Colorado Monument, Black Canyon & Mesa Verde||636||8|
|Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Arches & Canyonlands||792||7|
|Continental Divide National Historic Trail RV Road Trip||2,315||14|
|Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Black Canyon to Rocky Mountains||1,005||12|
Other Nearby National Park Sites
From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Mesa Verde National Park.
|Yucca House National Monument||12 mi|
|Hovenweep National Monument||35 mi|
|Aztec Ruins National Monument||36 mi|
|Chaco Culture National Historical Park||83 mi|
|Natural Bridges National Monument||88 mi|
|Canyon De Chelly National Monument||91 mi|
|Canyonlands National Park||97 mi|
|Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park||104 mi|
|Curecanti National Recreation Area||108 mi|
|Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site||118 mi|
Nearby Campsites & RV Parks
If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Mesa Verde National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.
|Morefield - Mesa Verde National Park||Mancos, CO more||9 miles|
|Main - Mancos State Park||Dolores, CO more||19 miles|
|West - Mancos State Park||Dolores, CO more||20 miles|
|Target Tree||Mancos, CO more||20 miles|
|Mcphee||Dolores, CO more||22 miles|
|House Creek||Dolores, CO more||23 miles|
|Transfer||Mancos, CO more||25 miles|
|Snowslide||Durango, CO more||26 miles|
|Kroeger||Durango, CO more||26 miles|
|Ferris Canyon||Cortez, CO more||31 miles|
Nearest Ski Resorts
For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Mesa Verde National Park:
|Hesperus Ski Area||Hesperus, CO||8,888 ft||49%||25 mi|
|Purgatory||Durango, CO||10,822 ft||53%||34 mi|
|Chapman Hill Ski Area||Durango, CO||6,555 ft||51%||35 mi|
|Kendall Mountain Ski Area||Silverton, CO||9,596 ft||20%||63 mi|
|Silverton||Silverton, CO||13,487 ft||100%||63 mi|
|Telluride||Telluride, CO||13,150 ft||90%||64 mi|
|Lee's Ski Hill||Ouray, CO||0 ft||0%||73 mi|
|Lake City Ski Hill||Lake City, CO||8,847 ft||0%||86 mi|
|Wolf Creek||Pagosa Springs, CO||11,904 ft||52%||95 mi|
When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Mesa Verde National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.
A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Mesa Verde National Park.
|Denver International Airport||DEN||Denver, CO||277 mi|
|Salt Lake City International Airport||SLC||Salt Lake City, UT||311 mi|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||PHX||Phoenix, AZ||326 mi|
|Lake Havasu City International Airport||LHS||Lake Havasu City, AZ||373 mi|
|Harry Reid International Airport||LAS||Las Vegas, NV||377 mi|
A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Mesa Verde National Park.
|Durango-La Plata County Airport||DRO||Durango, CO||41 mi|
|Grand Junction Regional Airport||GJT||Grand Junction, CO||134 mi|
|San Luis Valley Regional Airport/Bergman Field||ALS||Alamosa, CO||145 mi|
|Aspen-Pitkin Co/Sardy Field||ASE||Aspen, CO||166 mi|
|Albuquerque International Sunport||ABQ||Albuquerque, NM||181 mi|
|Eagle County Regional Airport||EGE||Eagle, CO||190 mi|
|Grand Canyon National Park Airport||GCN||Grand Canyon - Tusayan, AZ||220 mi|
Credits: Campground data provided by USCampgrounds.info. Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from OurAirports.com. Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.