Mesa Verde

page 3


Mesa Verde
tips and insights


You may enter a cliff house only on a ranger-led tour. They are available during warm weather months for the Cliff Palace and Balcony House. Square Tower House is off limits.

Note that these tours can be strenuous because of the high altitude (2400 meters or 8,000 feet). Moreover, they are not for the acrophobic, claustrophobic, or unsure-footed. You climb tall ladders and sharply inclined steps - and walk by deep drop offs - and sometimes crawl through snug tunnels.


Tickets are sold at the Visitor Center on the day of the tour. In summer, line waits can be long and tickets go fast - get there early. Remember, Mesa Verde attracts 600,000 visitors per year.


The Spanish explorers named this region Mesa Verde ("green mesa") because unlike most mesas, its flat-topped elevated terrain is well forested.

Tribe name

Archaeologists originally called the inhabitants the "Anasazi". Today, the preferred name is "Ancestral Pueblo People" or, more simply, "Ancient Puebloans".

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