Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from AD 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States
Mesa Verde is open year-round, but some areas are seasonal. To make the most of your trip, see what's available at the time of your visit..
Mesa Verde National Park opened its new Visitor and Research Center in mid-December, 2012. This new LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, located at the park entrance, replaced the aging Far View Visitor Center as the park’s primary facility for orienting visitors to opportunities within the park and surrounding area. It also houses a state-of-the-art research and storage facility for the park’s archives and museum collection of over three million objects.
Be sure to make the Mesa Verde Visitor Center your first stop if you wish to visit Cliff Palace, Balcony House, or Long House. If you plan to visit any of these three cliff dwellings, you must purchase tickets here first.*
Park entrance fees are collected here from early January to early March.
Visitor Center Hours
January to early April, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm*
Early April to late May, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Late May to early September, 7:30 am – 7:00 pm
Early September to early November, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Early November to late December, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm*
*The visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
For specific hours of operation during the time you are visiting, please go to Operating Hours & Seasons.
The visitor center exhibits are designed to help visitors plan their visit to the park and to offer glimpses into the richness of Ancestral Puebloan culture and daily life. You’ll also find exhibits highlighting:
the modern descendants of the Ancestral Pueblo people
the park’s museum and research collection
the building’s energy-saving and sustainablility features
several original sculptures and other pieces of art that reflect modern artists’ perspectives on Mesa Verde, its people and landscape
Purchase tickets here to visit Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and/or Long House.
The Mesa Verde Museum Association bookstore features books, trail guides, maps, and other items that you may find useful during or after your visit..
Restrooms are located near the entrance to the visitor center.
Free WiFi is available in the visitor center lobby and parking lot area.