This trail is located within Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde National Park. The parking lot also serves as the parking lot for the amphitheater, so it’s pretty huge – unless there’s a program going on you shouldn’t have to worry about finding a spot.
The trail starts out nice and level, facing north. It meanders through a field before taking a sharp right turn and beginning the slow series of switchbacks that take you to the top of the mesa. Mesa Verde National Park is at a pretty high elevation – most of the park sits at around 7,000 ft above sea level. Hiking at this elevation is considerably more difficult than you would expect, and you have to work to get the 400 feet of elevation gain on this trail. Thankfully, the views are spectacular and it make it all worth it.
After a the uphill slog, you finally reached the top of the Mesa. It’s beautiful and, at 8,387 ft, almost the highest point in the park! There’s a few spots to take in the views of what’s before you. Make sure to pay attention to the White Throated Swifts playing in the breeze! When they fly by you can hear their wings slicing through the air.
The trail is beautiful and a great start to a full day in Mesa Verde. If you’re feeling ambitious, the top of the Mesa offers excellent views east for a sunrise hike.
Make sure you are paying attention to the ground as you hike, there are lots of snakes in the park!
- Mesa Verde National Park entrance fee ($15)