Photo: Mug House Hike Photo: Mug House Hike Photo: Mug House Hike Photo: Mug House Hike Photo: Mug House Hike


Mug House

Cliff Dwelling Tour
2 hr. 00 min.
Ticket Availability


Tour Description

Named for three mugs tied together with yucca rope found hanging inside one of its rooms, Mug House was first visited by the Wetherill brothers of Mancos, CO in 1889. The site was not completely excavated and stabilized until 1960-61 as part of the Wetherill Mesa Project, a joint project of the National Park Service and National Geographic Society.

Mug House was built over several decades in the A.D. 1100s and 1200s and likely supported a population of 80 to 100 people. Along the route to this amazing site, you will visit other Ancestral Puebloan sites including Adobe Cave, which features partially excavated rooms. This ranger-guided hike offers wonderful views of Rock Canyon.

This strenuous 2-hour, 3-mile (4.8km) round-trip hike is along an unpaved, uneven trail that descends 100 feet (30m), and includes steep drop-offs, switchbacks, and scrambling up and down boulders. Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots, bring at least 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of water per person, and sun protection. This hike may not be appropriate for young children. Each hiker must be able to scramble over boulders and navigate steep gravel trails unassisted. Please, do not bring any food or snacks! Archeological sites are vulnerable to damage caused by rodents attracted to crumbs and dropped snacks.

Mug House is available from May 27, 2014 to August 30, 2014 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Hikers depart from the upper parking lot near the Wetherill Mesa restrooms at 9:45 am.

Tour Details

  • Duration: 2 hr. 00 min.
  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Number of Steps: 0
  • Accessible: No
  • Effort: Strenuous

Know Before You Go

Consider your physical health before joining a hike, especially if you have heart or respiratory problems, or other physical difficulties. Elevations range between 7,000 and 7,500 feet (2134m and 2286m) above sea level. You should plan for all weather possibilities because weather conditions are quite variable. It's possible to begin your hike in full sun and end with a thunderstorm or snowstorm.


From the park entrance, drive 15.1 miles (24.3 km), about 40 minutes, to the turn-off for Wetherill Mesa - Long House. (The turn off is on your right, between the Far View Lodge and the Far View Terrace). Turn right. The Wetherill Mesa Road gate opens at 9:00 am.

From the Wetherill Mesa Road gate, drive another 12 miles (19.3 km), about 35 minutes, to reach the Wetherill Mesa parking lot.

Meet the ranger in the upper parking lot near the Wetherill Mesa restrooms at 9:45 am.

Note: The Wetherill Mesa parking lot is a total of 27 miles (43.5 km) from the park entrance and is a 60 to 90 minute drive.

Note: Some Tours may be available only from the Tour Park on a first-come-first-served basis. Arrival dates earlier than the online-reservation-window may also be available at the Tour Park.
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