Balcony House

Balcony House

Evolution of Housing Construction

Mesa Verde Balcony House, a “medium size” cliff dwelling, has 40 rooms. This particular archeological site illustrates how room and passageway construction evolved through time. Today, the tunnel, passageways, and modern 32-foot entrance ladder are what make Balcony House the most adventurous cliff dwelling tour in the park. Mesa Verde Balcony House can be explored by ranger-guided tour only. Purchase tickets for one-hour tours at the Mesa Verde National Park Visitor and Research Center prior to entering the park.

Balcony House Overview

Prospector, S. E. Osborn, first entered Mesa Verde Balcony House in the spring of 1884. His name and the date March 20, 1884, have been found in a dwelling in lower Soda Canyon. In a newspaper article published late in 1886, Osborn describes some of the sites he visited in the Mesa Verde in 1883- 1884. The description of one matches the likes of Balcony House, and there is very little doubt that he did enter it.

Jesse Nusbaum excavated Mesa Verde Balcony House in 1910. Nusbaum was not only an accomplished archeologist; he was also one of the first Superintendents of Mesa Verde National Park.

“Mesa Verde Balcony House, with its well-preserved rooms, kivas, and plazas, stands as a tribute to those who built and occupied the site in the thirteenth century, the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. Mesa Verde Balcony House is also a tribute to the men who excavated and stabilized the site in the early part of the twentieth century…” (Kathleen Fiero, Balcony House: A History of a Cliff Dwelling, Copyright 1999 by Mesa Verde Museum Association.)