Mesa Verde National Park launched a phased reopening a few days ago, and while not every service and facililty are available it's a great start!
The park closed because of Coronavirus concerns, and it's great to see the National Park Service working with federal, state and local public health authorities to reopen.
Here is a list of facilities and services that are currently open:
1) Online Virtual Ranger Station. Because the Museum & Visitor Research Center remain closed, the park is encouraging visitors to use the Online Virtual Ranger Station to plan their visit.
2) Morefield Campground. For more information, go to visitmesaverde.com.
3) Far View Terrace Cafe and Gift Shop. For more information, go to visitmesaverde.com.
4) Far View Lodge. For more information, go to visitmesaverde.com.
5) Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe and Gift Shop. For more information, go to visitmesaverde.com.
6) Chapin Mesa Picnic Area. Most food locations in the park are currently take-out, so this is a great place to enjoy a picnic.
7) Public restrooms. Be aware that you may experience temporarly closures for cleaning and sanitation.
8) Trash collection. Custodial staff is currently limited, so if you can take out what you bring in that would be awesome!
Here is a list of roads and recreational areas that are open:
1) Main Park Road. All overlooks including Montezuma Overlook, Park Point, and Geologic Overlook are open.
2) Far View Archaeological Sites. This .75-mile hiking trail leads you through six mesa top sites.
3) Mesa Top Loop Road. This 6-mile driving tour takes you through 700 years of Ancestral Pueblo History.
4) Cliff Palace/Balcony House Loop Drive. All stops and overlooks are open.
5) Spruce Tree House Overlook. This overlook offers views of the third-largest, and best-preserved, cliff dwelling.
6) Hiking trails. All Morefield and Chapin Mesa trails are open.
And here's a list of what remains closed:
1) Mesa Verde Research & Visitor Center.
2) Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum.
3) All cliff dwellings and ranger-guided cliff dwelling tours. This includes continued closures of Cliff Palace, Balcony House, Long House, and Step House.
4) Wetherill Mesa.
Mesa Verde National Park was established in 1906 to preserve and interpret the archaeological heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from 600 to 1300 CE. Today, the park protects nearly 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best-preserved in the United States.
For more information about Mesa Verde National Park, visit their website!