Palaces of the Past in Mesa Verde National Park

Experience the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans who inhabited this enchanting landscape for more than 10,000 years.

While climbing one of the several 10-foot ladders at Cliff Palace on a hot day, you’ll realize why ancient people spent 700 years in what is now Mesa Verde National Park.

About 1,400 years ago, Ancestral Puebloans built more than 600 dwellings into the gorgeous sandstone cliffs that serve as nature’s air conditioning in the heat of the summer.

Tour these dwellings to catch a glimpse into our nation’s ancient history. You must go on a guided tour with a park ranger to see Cliff Palace, Balcony House and Long House. Purchase your tickets for these tours at or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor center which is home to exhibits, restrooms, park information and the park’s museum collection of more than 3 million objects.

Greg Thornwall from Boonsboro, Maryland - Climbing the Ladder, Mesa Verde National Park
Greg Thornwall

“It’s a connection to the past in more ways than one,” says Kelly Kirkpatrick, executive director of Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau. “Many people visited there as children, so it’s a trip down memory lane. And touring the cliff dwellings puts us in touch with our past, the ancient ones. They are our own pyramids.”

A world heritage site, Mesa Verde has been named the “Number One Historical Monument in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and “One of the 50 Places to Visit in a Lifetime” by National Geographic magazine.

For more information

Mesa Verde National Park