MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, CO
Oak Tree HouseCliff Dwelling Tour
2 hr. 00 min.
This 60-room site built on two ledges is one of the largest cliff dwellings in the park. Oak Tree House is a well preserved but fragile site that features plastered walls and varied architectural styles.
This 2-hour,1-mile (1.6km) round-trip hike is moderately strenuous. Expect a narrow, unpaved, uneven trail, with steps carved into the sandstone, steep drop-offs, and two ladders (4-foot and 15-foot) (1.2m to 4.6m), and a total elevation change of 200 feet (61m). In addition to up close views of this extremely fragile site, you will have stunning views of Cliff Canyon, Cliff Palace, and Sun Temple. Wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots and bring a minimum of 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of water per person. Please, do not bring any type of snack or food or sugary drinks. Archaeological sites are vulnerable to damage caused by rodents attracted to crumbs and dropped snacks. Shade is very limited, so bring a hat and sunscreen. Consider bringing binoculars and bird books, as well. This hike is appropriate for well-prepared hikers. Children must be able to walk the extent of the trail on their own without difficulty. Oak Tree House hike is available from May 28 to September 7 weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Hikers depart for Oak Tree House at 8:00am from Sun Temple on the Mesa Top Loop Road. Meet the ranger for your hike at least 15 minutes in advance.
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.
Mesa Verde National Park has accessibility limitations for people with vision, hearing or mobility impairments. Visitors encounter rugged terrain at an elevation of 7,000 to 8,500 feet. Steep cliffs, deep canyons and narrow trails can be a danger to all visitors. Persons with heart or respiratory ailments may have breathing problems at this altitude. Wheelchairs with wide rim wheels are recommended on trails
General information is provided below. For a more detailed explanation, use the following links:
Spruce Tree Terrace Café: Located in a historic building near the Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum and Spruce Tree House, this is a perfect place for a casual lunch or dinner. Dine inside, on the outdoor patio, or pick up a lunch-to-go and enjoy a picnic in the park. Open daily, year-round. Hours of operation vary seasonally. You may contact them directly at (970) 529-4521.
Metate Room Restaurant: Enjoy dinner in the nationally recognized Metate Room at Far View Lodge, offering wild game, fresh fish, and local organic produce, all with a contemporary Southwestern flare. Come early for breakfast with a view. Enjoy a gourmet continental breakfast featuring homemade pastries, fresh juices, shade grown coffee, and more. Relax atop the lodge in the La Mano Lounge and end your evening with a sunset, the moon, or under the stars. Open late-April to mid-October. (970) 529-4421.
Far View Terrace Restaurant: The Far View Terrace offers a casual dining atmosphere located just a quarter mile from Far View Lodge. There is something for everyone with a wide variety of choices from breakfast through dinner, including classic fare and local favorites such as the house favorite, a Navajo taco. An additional feature is the Java City Coffee Bar with lattes, cappuccinos, smoothies, ice cream, and our special house made Mesa Verde fudge! Open May to mid-October. (970) 529-4444.
FAR VIEW LODGE
From park entrance, drive 25 miles(40km) to Sun Temple on the Mesa Top Loop Road. Drive time from park entrance is one hour. Participants will meet at Sun Temple on the Mesa Top Loop Road. Hikers for Oak Tree House depart at 8:00am.
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.