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Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park

Must see · Ruin · Historic Site
Visit the largest cliff dwelling of the Mesa Verde National Park, Cliff Palace. Many archeologists agree that the building, which once housed approximately 100 people, had special significance for the Mesa Verde people. For access to the site, you must be with a ranger guide. Book a tour at the visitor center, where you can also learn about the construction of the dwelling and the people who lived there. You'll see inside a complex series of halls, rooms, and towers that are protected from the sun by the canyon. You can get a view of the entire dwelling from Cliff Palace Loop Road. For Cliff Palace and beyond, use our Mesa Verde National Park trip itinerary website to get the most from your Mesa Verde National Park vacation.
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Cliff Palace reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
1,453 reviews
  • Totally bummed that Cliff Palace was closed to public. I had visited as a teenager and brought my husband and 20 yr old daughter to see this incredible place. We had good views from opposite side of.....  more »
  • Most amazing to me was that daily trip up the cliffs required for tending crops on the mesa tops. The architecture is stunning, and the community aspect is a wonder of developing society, but...  more »
  • We viewed the palace across the valley from an overlook. It is challenging to see beyond the building outline and the overall structure. It is still very impressive for the location and how it was...  more »
  • Did the tour today at cliff palace at 2pm. It was absolutely beautiful. Beginning of the tour, guide spent about 25 minutes telling us what we were going to do during the tour. That took forever. And at the end of the tour I felt I knew more about our tour guide and his personal life versus Cliff Palace and it's natives. He didn't really elaborate on facts and culture. He over talked and was very dramatic and consistently talked about his personal experiences. I understand his heart was probably in the right place but honestly my husband and I were bored and spent a majority of the time rolling our eyes. He talked about how he became a park ranger and even said that as a park ranger he could, " say want he wanted" on his tours. At the end he went into some emotional speech about going on journeys and how that related to the tour. It was weird and my husband and I and another couple couldn't get up those steps and ladders fast enough. The focus needs to be more on an informational standpoint. Views were great and besides the eh tour we enjoyed the history.
  • Mesa Verde National Park is great place to visit and national treasure. It is a beautiful park with some great hikes and awesome scenery. The extra charge to have a guided tour to Cliff Palace is well worth it. The hike is strenuous with steep grade and ladder climbing as well as some tight squeezes so I would not recommended it for people with knee, hip, cardiovascular, lung, balance, weight or fear issues. You do have the opportunity to rest a couple of times during the tour while the ranger gives you info.
  • This was a truly amazing experience. My wife and I really enjoyed the tour. It’s amazing that these people were capable of building these dwellings and prospering in such a rugged environment. It was like traveling back in time. The park rangers were very friendly and knowledgeable and I highly recommend this trip.
  • Astoundingly out of this world. Cliff Palace is the jewel of Mesa Verde National Park and the American national Park system at large. This perfectly preserved ancestral pueblo is a site to behold and easily rivals any wonder of the world in terms of beauty. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at Mesa Verde don’t miss Cliff Palace
  • Loved this dwelling, it is more accessible than Balcony House and more interesting than Long House (in my opinion). My only complaint is the size of the tour...they allow about 50 and that's too many for one park ranger. And you'd be lucky to get Ranger Doug (Crisper), he did two of our tours and did a very nice job.

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