Mesa Verde National Park reopened its gates to visitors Sunday, May 24. The park had been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus.
Park-goers can expect a few changes. For now, the visitor’s center on U.S. Highway 160 will remain closed, but rangers have set up a series of interactive interpretive exhibits in the parking lot. Overlooks on the park road will be open, but officials will closely monitor crowd sizes. Visitors won’t be able to access the cliff dwellings or take guided tours. Park officials will closely monitor crowd sizes and attempt to maintain physical distancing.
Mesa Verde services at-a-glance:
- Mesa Verde Research and Visitor’s Center: Closed
- All cliff dwellings and ranger-guided cliff dwelling tours: Closed
- Morefield Campground: Open
- Far View Lodge: Open
- Far View Terrace Cafe and gift shop: Open for takeout only
- Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe and Gift Shop: Open
- Chapin Mesa Picnic Area: Open
- Main park road and overlooks: Open
- Mesa Top Loop Road: Open
- Cliff Palace & Balcony House Loop Road: Open
- Spruce Tree House Overlook: Open
- Hiking trails: Open
- Ruin tours: Closed
- Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum: Closed
- Wetherill Mesa: Closed
I reached out to Park Superintendent Cliff Spencer to learn more.
Listen to the interview:
I’m reporting on the impact of the coronavirus in the Four Corners region for KSUT Public Radio. The stories and audio here were previously aired and published by KSUT. Stories are archived at Open Range News.