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Cliff Palace

One of the most elaborate cliff dwellings.

Hiking Easy

718 m
30 m
30 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
2.1 km
High Point
2.1 km
Cliff Palace Map

Cliff Palace is one of the most beautiful and most elaborate of the cliff dwellings found in Mesa Verde National Park. While you can quickly walk from the road to the edge of the canyon wall to view it from a distance, you can only descend to the Palace and enter some of the dwellings on a ranger-guided tour. Click here for information on purchasing a ticket.


"Recent studies reveal that Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people," according to the NPS. "Out of the nearly 600 cliff dwellings concentrated within the boundaries of the park, 75% contain only 1-5 rooms each, and many are single room storage units." Due to the extravagance of the Cliff Palace, experts believe that it "was a social, administrative site with high ceremonial usage."

Even if you get to explore the entire Palace, at just 0.4 miles this is still a very short hike. The stairs to descend into the canyon and climb back up to the rim add a level of strenuousness, but this hike is non-technical. For a more extended hike, be sure to check out Petroglyph Point.



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area