This drive visits some of the most impressive Ancestral Puebloan ruins and cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.

The 6-mile Mesa Top Loop Road, open 8 am to sunset, stops at 12 sites including surface ruins and cliff dwelling overlooks. The most famous feature of the park, Cliff Palace, is visible from the Sun Point and Sun Temple overlooks. Sunrise photography isn't possible on the loop due to operating hours, but stunning sunsets can be captured from the cliff trails before the road closes.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Wide-angle and Telephoto Lens
  • Tripod
  • Batteries
  • Memory Card
  • Warm Layers
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Food & Water
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Cliff Palace Loop Trail

Tickets for this tour are $4 per person and are available at the visitor center near the entrance of the park. This tour is best taken from April to November.

33 Saves

Hike the Soda Canyon Overlook Trail

The trailhead is clearly marked, and is about 1/4 miles past the Balcony House parking lot. The trail is best used from April to October, and features a river.

6 Saves

Explore Balcony House

Starting at the trail head at 7,000 feet, you will head down the trail until you get to the cliff dwellings.

109 Saves