Petroglyph Trail was a highlight of our time in Mesa Verde National Park — a rugged backcountry hike through deep canyon walls across rocky up-and-down terrain.
When visiting Mesa Verde National Park, take the time to go on this adventurous loop trek and feel the authentic atmosphere the Puebloans ancestors felt 700 years ago.
The hike begins behind the museum with a bang — a sensational view of Spruce House. Remarkable!
Two trail options to choose from. Spruce Canyon and Petroglyph Trail. The promised petroglyphs located on Petroglyph Trail was an easy choice for us.
Part of the challenge was deciding where the trail went on several occasions. Craggy and jagged come to mind as we weave in and out of rock formations among stunning plant and tree life. Not to worry you, it is an easy trail to follow.
Items to consider at Mesa Verde NP
A wall of petroglyphs left us in awe, then onto the last scramble before reaching the top of the mesa with views that followed us on an easy trail back to the museum. We loved it.
Mesa Verde NP offers ranger-guided tours of the famous cliff dwellings within the park. We did two tours, one before our hike and one after making our reservations days before. Tours generally run from April to October.
For reservations and information: Mesa Verde National Park Tours
Balcony House is a not-to-miss tour — consisting of a 100′ descent down a staircase into the canyon, climbing a 32′ ladder, crawling through a 12′, 18″ wide tunnel, and up an additional 60 feet on ladders and stone steps. I’m not fond of heights and found this fun and not challenging.
Cliff Palace is incredible — the most famous cliff dwelling in Mesa Verde and can be seen from a lookout if a tour is not in your plans. However, we found the tour so much more than looking from afar. Being within Cliff Palace, the size alone is mind-boggling.
One day in Mesa Verde National Park was just enough for us to visit overlooks, tour cliff dwellings, and get on hiking trails — an incredible window into the past that will live in our memories forever.
To plan your trip visit > Mesa Verde Naitonal Park
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