Thursday, May 14, 2009
Spruce Treehouse, Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Date Hiked: May 14, 2009
Distance: .5 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 100ft
Managing Agency: National Park Service
Mesa Verde National Park Website & Map (NPS)
Directions: The entrance to Mesa Verde is located off of Hwy 160, 36 miles west of Durango and 10 east of Cortez. There is one main park road and the Spruce Treehouse Trailhead is located at the end of the road near the Museum and Balcony House.
While visits to the Spruce Treehouse cliff dwelling are Ranger guided only in the Winter, the spring, summer, and fall allow visitors to visit the dwellings as a self-guided tour. The only caveat is that you can't actually go into the dwellings the way you can when the tour is guided. Even though, this is a must do hike at Mesa Verde.
The paved trail starts at the Museum and winds down to the base of the dwelling. You can walk along and weave through, the impressive cliff dwelling at your own pace. Rangers are on hand to answer all your annoying questions... The end of this trail marks the start of the Petroglyph Point and Spruce Canyon Trails if you want to explore further.