Best Time of Year to Visit Mesa Verde National Park?

Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado is a truly unique experience. With over 4,300 archaeological sites and 400 miles of trails to explore, the visit can take days or weeks depending on your interests. The best time to visit Mesa Verde National Park will be different for everyone as it depends on what you want from this visit. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure full of history and wildlife then now is the perfect time!

When is the best time of year to visit mesa Verde national park?

The best time of year will vary depending on what you want from your visit. Mesa Verde National Park is a destination for outdoor adventure, history, and wildlife viewing; so it’s all about the experience! If you’re looking for an epic hiking trip then November through March may be the perfect time as there is no snow or ice to make navigating difficult. If you are interested in learning more about the Ancestral Puebloan people who built these amazing cliff dwellings than any season could work well because they left behind intriguing clues that can be discovered at any time of day!


Spring is a good time to visit Mesa Verde National Park as it is the perfect opportunity to see wildlife like elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorns. Plus, there are a number of plant species that only bloom during this time period so you’ll be able to visit Mesa Verde at just the right moment!


Mesa Verde’s summer season provides prime conditions for outdoor recreation and families with children will enjoy exploring historic sites without worrying about snow or ice. During these hot months stay hydrated by carrying plenty of water on your hikes and plan ahead if you want to visit any archaeological sites because they may not be open due to high temperatures.


Fall is the best time to see the aspen trees change colors and visit Mesa Verde’s archaeological sites. The cooler temperatures make it more comfortable for visitors with sensitive skin or respiratory issues but prepare to bring sweaters, jackets and other layers of clothing because evenings can be chilly near the river.


If you visit in winter your visit will include a number of special events such as ranger-led hikes, storytelling sessions and holiday celebrations – all perfect if you’re looking for something unique after Christmas time! You’ll also have access to many sites that are closed during summer months due to snow blocking accessibility so plan ahead to avoid any disappointment on your visit.

Weather and Climate Guide

Weather and conditions a best enjoyed from May to October, with a visit in the late summer or early fall being perfect for travel.

The best time to visit Mesa Verde National Park Colorado is going to depend on what you’re looking for and how many people are with you – but no matter when, there will always be something interesting and exciting happening at this national park!

Visiting Mesa Verde during winter months means that visitors can enjoy all of the holiday celebrations such as ranger-led hikes, storytelling sessions, Christmas carols, horse drawn wagon rides through town (weather dependent), campfires by warm firesides around which folks roast marshmallows; gatherings like potluck dinners where friends talk over old times while they share memories from their past visits.

How long does it take to see Mesa Verde

On average, it can take as little as two to three hours to visit the park. If you want a quick visit, then this may be for you. For more in-depth exploration of Mesa Verde and its many sites, our suggested visit length is four or five hours.

Distance from Colorado Springs to Mesa Verde National Park

The distance between Colorado Springs and Mese Verde is around 35 miles. Driving time is roughly 40 minutes and the route is well-marked with signs.

Driving Directions to Mesa Verde National Park

To visit this national park from Colorado Springs take Interstate 25 North for 35 miles, turn right onto US Highway 160 (Chambers Road) and drive 11 more miles south. Continue straight on State Route 49 at a junction in Ignacio until you reach the entrance of the park that’s roughly 20 more miles away.

Mesa Verde National Park Admission Cost

Admission to Mesa Verde National Park is $20 for adults and free for children under 15 years old or those with a Golden Age Passport (65+). Seniors aged 62 – 64 are charged half-price, while seniors 65+ receive unlimited free admission year-round.

What Accommodations Are Nearby?

There are plenty of hotels nearby Colorado Springs as well as the towns of Cortez and Dolores that offer accommodations such as motels, cabins, camping sites, etc. In addition to these options there are also campgrounds in the area which provide tent spaces only.))

700 Years Tour

The 700 years tour is for any group of at least 20 people and must be scheduled in advance. This tour will visit many different sites that are not typically accessible to the general public but is only offered on a few days each year.

Canyon of the Ancients

The Canyon of the Ancients is the only national monument in the country that is a large canyon. It can be explored on foot, by horseback or mountain bike. The most common visit to this site is for backcountry camping and hiking with an overnight stay.

Camping at Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde has four campgrounds available; Cottonwood Campground, Aspen Group Site, Dog Canyon Campground and Spruce Tree Campground. All of these offer tent spaces as well as RV sites which vary from primitive to electric hookups depending on your needs.

Cliff Dwellings

The Cliff Dwellings are Mesa Verde’s most famous site. There are more than 600 cliff dwellings and they date back to the 13th century. The visit includes a short walking tour of these structures that have been carefully preserved for over 800 years.

Where to Stay

Nearby, you can find a variety of accommodations including hotels, resorts, and camping. There are plenty of place to stay in the nearby area if you don’t want to camp.