Mesa Verde National Park is expanding the number of backcountry ranger-led hikes being offered to the public. Mesa Verde will be offering visitors opportunities this year to learn more about the park through special hikes and tours. These hikes include a 2-hour hike to Oak Tree House, half-day hikes to Wetherill Mesa and Upper Navajo Canyon, an all-day hike to Spring House:
Oak Tree House
As you hike to Spring House, you will be rewarded with views of alcove sites in Navajo and Wickiup Canyons. With 86 rooms and seven kivas, Spring House is the largest unexcavated cliff dwelling in the park. It's extremely fragile, so you will not enter the site, but will get excellent views of the cliff dwelling from a platform at the south end of the village. Group size is limited to 10 people. The Spring House Hike will be offered on Sundays and Wednesdays, May 26 to June 5, 2013, and September 1 to October 6.
Upper Navajo Canyon
Enjoy the autumn weather and fall color as you hike this historic trail, built in the 1930s by the Public Works Administration. You will view Pinkley House and other small alcove sites, and experience two natural communities as you descend from the drier mesa top to the mountain chaparral in the canyon bottom. Group size for this hike is limited to 14 people, and will be offered on Thursdays and Saturdays, from September 5 to October 5, 2013.
Wetherill Mesa Experience
Expansive canyon views, spectacular glimpses of cliff dwellings, and Wetherill Mesa in the autumn will reward hikers on this moderate 4-hour, 4-mile round-trip hike. You'll be introduced to the story of the Ancestral Pueblo people, the environment in which they lived, and the ecology of the pinyon-juniper woodland. Hikers will follow an old fire road and an unpaved trail that crosses Wetherill Mesa. Group size for this hike is limited to 14 people, and will be offered on
Tuesdays and Fridays, September 6 to October 4, 2013
Tickets for each of these special hikes are limited, and can be purchased online at www.recreation.gov, or by phoning the call center at 1-877-444-6777. For more information on each of these hikes, please click here.