If you’ve never been to Mesa Verde National Park, it’s helpful to have a plan to ensure you see and do it all on your vacation. We’ve put together our favorite 3-day itinerary that celebrates the wonder and grandeur of this one-of-a-kind place protecting thousands of archaeological sites, including hundreds of cliff dwellings. As you wander these same paths, travel through these same forests, and wonder at these same endless skies, Mesa Verde Country® will reward you with adventure at every turn.
And while you’re planning your visit, be sure to check out our Specials & Packages - we're bound to have a deal that suits your interest.
Browse through the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center - Open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, 7:00 pm during peak season, the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center features historic Native American jewelry, pottery, and basket displays. Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center is located adjacent to the park entrance.
Morefield Explorer Scavenger Hunt - Looking for something to do with the kids? Four and a half miles from the park entrance, stop by the Morefield Campground for the Morefield Explorer Scavenger Hunt. Enjoy exploring its flora, fauna and archaeology by biking, hiking or driving to locate 30 information stations. Receive a prize after learning about many of the Mesa Verde National Park plants, animals and past history.
Breathtaking Views, Fabulous Meals - Enjoy dinner in the award winning Metate Room in Far View Lodge, voted one of Colorado's top-10 restaurants. The Metate Room menu celebrates the culture, incorporating the heritage foods together with contemporary favorites, sommelier services and an extensive wine list.
Relax and Unwind - After a delicious meal relax on your private balcony and enjoy views across four states (up to 100 miles). Wildlife watching guaranteed! Enjoy the amazing silence (TV-and-cell phone-free) as you settle in at Far View Lodge.
Breakfast at Far View Terrace - Breakfast Served Daily: 7:00 am - 10:00 am
Absorb the Culture, 700 Years Tour - This tour is 4 hours in duration and visits sites that represent the time frame of 600AD to 1300AD. Follow these historical experts and gain insights into the heritage of Mesa Verde National Park as you explore its spectacular sites and absorb the culture.
Lunch at the Spruce Tree Cafe - Near Park Headquarters, Museum and Spruce Tree House dwelling site Spruce Tree Cafe renders cafeteria service, with indoor seating and patio dining. Be sure to try out our world-class Navajo Tacos. Outdoor Barbecue available 7 days a week 11:00 am to 3:30 pm, May 26 - September 11.
Hiking for the Novice and the Experienced - Hiking in Mesa Verde National Park is plentiful, with numerous trails offering a perfect hike for the novice and a day’s hike for the experienced. Hiking at Mesa Verde is restricted and allowed only on designated trails. One of our famous hiking trails is the Petroglyph Point Trail, 2.4 miles round trip, begins from the Spruce Tree House trail, follows the bottom of Spruce Tree Canyon, turns up Spruce Canyon, and returns to the museum via the picnic area.
Casual Dinner at Far View Terrace - Casual self-serve dining features hot and cold foods with a southwestern flair – including soups, salads, burgers, desserts and beverages. House specialty is Navajo Tacos. We make every effort to offer sustainable foods that are grown and harvested with respect for the land.
Breakfast at Mesa Mocha Espresso Bar at Far View Terrace - Served Daily: 7:00 am - 10:00 am
Drive to Wetherill Mesa - 15 miles into the most remote part of the park, featuring spectacular views of mountain ranges and desert plateaus. Tickets required for Long House Dwelling.
Early Dinner at the Metate Room - Enjoy dinner in the award winning Metate Room, winner of the American Culinary Federation award for sustainable cuisine. Menu features heritage foods in a contemporary presentation. Metate Room offers a comprehensive Wine list including many fine Colorado Wines.
Take an evening Stroll - You can take an evening sunset stroll along the Mesa Top pathways and enjoy the spectacular stars and the wildlife. You can also choose to take a Twilight Tour of Cliff Palace.
Relax in the Far View Lounge - After a long day of touring and exploring you can treat yourself to a signature cocktail with great views of Soda Canyon by starlight before you call it a night.
Breakfast at any of our Restaurants - Served Daily: 7:00 am - 10:00 am
Beyond Souvenir - You’ll find beautiful, handcrafted jewelry, Navajo Rugs, exquisite pottery and a great selection of souvenir apparel at any of our four gift shops.
Stop at Park Point, the highest point in the park at 8500 feet elevation, at mile marker 10, as you depart Mesa Verde National Park.