Mesa Verde National Park
As one of only 20 World Heritage sites in the USA sites in the U.S., Mesa Verde National Park stands as a fascinating monument to the unique history and culture of Southwestern Colorado. Home to some of Colorado’s earliest inhabitants, Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) offers visitors a wonderful opportunity to see and experience a unique cultural and physical landscape. Learn more about the unique Mesa Verde Tour options available below. Starting with the earliest of evidence of human habitation and continuing through the development of this ancient civilization, you will enjoy a learning journey designed to gain insight into the fascinating pre-cliff dwelling and cliff dwelling history of the Ancient Puebloan Peoples (formerly known as the Anasazi).
The Puebloan culture represented at Mesa Verde National Park reflects more than 700 years of history and the incredible remnants of their sheltered villages, commonly referred to as “cliff dwellings.” During their last century, some Puebloan peoples of Mesa Verde left the mesa tops and built their homes in the alcoves that abound in the many canyon walls. This last period marks the climax of the Pueblo culture in Mesa Verde and is known as the Classic Pueblo Period (A.D. 1100-1300). The exact number of dwellings in Mesa Verde is unknown, but over 600 cliff dwellings have been documented. 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, plan to spend a day or two exploring its world-class archaeological sites as well as its beautiful landscape. Enhance your experience with a fascinating guided tour. With full-day, all-inclusive options to half-day bus tours inside the Park, a guided tour will offers an interpretive learning journey to provide you with a deeper understanding of what we have come to understand about this ancient culture.
Full Day All Inclusive Tours:
More than just amazing photos, this all inclusive tour will help you to gain an in-depth understanding of what we have learned about the ancient Puebloan peoples. Friendly and knowledgeable guides will help you interpret not just the amazing architecture of the cliff dwellings, but also the culture, society and the anthropology of the Ancient Puebloans. This all inclusive tour lasts a full day and includes pick up and drop off at your lodging property, all of your park fees and taxes, and a delicious lunch. In addition, unlike some of the other tours aboard a 44-passenger coach, this tour provides a more intimate setting with a 10-passenger van, so you have the unique opportunity to interact with your guide, ask questions, and make special requests.
Half Day In-Park Tours:
Don’t have as much time to visit Mesa Verde? Guided half-day tours are a great opportunity to get a great understanding of the ancient Puebloan peoples. Half-day guided tours are provided inside the Park aboard a 40-passenger motor coach. Pay your own entrance fee into the Park and meet inside at the Far View Lodge tour desk 30 minutes before your scheduled tour departure time (either a morning or afternoon tour).
The entrance to Mesa Verde is 9 miles east of Cortez and 35 miles west of Durango in Southwestern Colorado on US Highway 160. We recommend you allow at least 90 minutes drive time from downtown Durango to arrive at your destination inside the Park. The Park entrance fees are included in Full Day tour options but are not included in the Half Day options. The fees vary by season and are currently $15 per vehicle in the off season (Labor Day to Memorial Day) and $20 in the peak season (Memorial Day to Labor Day). The fee is good for entrance to Mesa Verde National Park for up to 7 days. Golden Eagle National Parks passes are accepted.