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Knife Edge Trail

Covering a section of the original access road into Mesa Verde National Park, this short yet scenic trail features wonderful views of the surrounding valley.

Despite its forbidding name, Knife Edge Trail is accessible for all ages and fitness levels. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding Montezuma Valley along the 2-mile-long (3-kilometer) trail. Spot local birds nesting in the brush off one side of the trail and soaring over the rocky drop-off on the other.

In 1914, the Knife Edge Road was built as the original park access road. Marvel at the feats of engineering required to build a road on this steep bluff. The Knife Edge Trail covers a picturesque section of this road, from the northwest corner of Morefield Campground toward Montezuma Valley Overlook.

Take the whole family on a leisurely hike along this trailhead, which is almost flat for the whole route. Visit during the early morning or late afternoon to enjoy the most peaceful atmosphere. Don’t forget your camera, as the views from the overlook at the end of the trail are superb.

Join an organized birdwatching walk with one of the park's rangers, who can educate you on the local bird life and habitats. Look for cougar tracks along the trail or bald eagles soaring overhead, both of which have been sighted in this area of the park.

Appreciate the colors of the sky as the sun begins to drop below Sleeping Ute Mountain, visible in the distance as you finish the outbound leg of the trail. Sleeping Ute Mountain takes its name from its appearance as the profile of a person lying down to sleep.

Give a small donation and receive a booklet from the campground at the start of the hike. The booklet details the plants and animals surrounding the trail. As you walk, look for numbered signposts corresponding to pages within the booklet and providing more information about indigenous plant life.

Find Knife Edge Trail in the northwest corner of Morefield Campground within Mesa Verde National Park. An admission fee is required to enter the park, but access to the trail and nearby car parking are both free. The round-trip trail takes about an hour to complete. Be sure to allow enough time to return by sunset.


Guide to Exploring around Knife Edge Trail


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Lodging Near Knife Edge Trail

See all 145 Properties near Knife Edge Trail
"mesa Verde Vista" 5 Minutes to Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes to Durango
Reviewed on Oct 1, 2018
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"mesa Verde Vista" 5 Minutes to Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes to Durango

"mesa Verde Vista" 5 Minutes to Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes to Durango

Mancos, CO
     
    5.0 of 5
    0.0 out of 5.0

    From the first contact, Rhonda was very responsive and friendly. the property: Lovely. well taken care of garden surrounds the luxurious hot tub. both the house and the casita are gorgeously appointed; tasteful decor and comfortable furniture everywhere. You can literally see the visitor center of ...

    'luna Mesa' 5 Minutes From Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes From Durango
    Reviewed on Apr 11, 2019
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    'luna Mesa' 5 Minutes From Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes From Durango

    'luna Mesa' 5 Minutes From Mesa Verde National Park & 35 Minutes From Durango

    Mancos, CO
       
      4.9 of 5
      0.0 out of 5.0

      view was superb. place very comfortable and relaxing.

      Far View Lodge $110
      Reviewed on Apr 19, 2019
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      Far View Lodge

      Far View Lodge

      Mile Marker 15, inside, Mesa Verde National Park, CO
         
        3.7 of 5
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Wonderful location in the park, with a decent resturant. Great staff.

        Cabin With 2 Master Suites, Gorgeous Views of Mesa Verde and La Plata Mountains
        Reviewed on Jan 6, 2019
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        Cabin With 2 Master Suites, Gorgeous Views of Mesa Verde and La Plata Mountains

        Cabin With 2 Master Suites, Gorgeous Views of Mesa Verde and La Plata Mountains

        Mancos, CO
           
          4.9 of 5
          0.0 out of 5.0

          We absolutely loved the cabin and Mancos. Kris went out of her way to welcome us and accommodate us during our entire stay. We are planning on returning in the Fall this year. Thanks Kris.

          NEW Listing! Cozy Country Home Surrounded by Wide Open Spaces & Mountain Views
          Reviewed on Oct 19, 2018
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          NEW Listing! Cozy Country Home Surrounded by Wide Open Spaces & Mountain Views

          NEW Listing! Cozy Country Home Surrounded by Wide Open Spaces & Mountain Views

          Mancos, CO
             
            5.0 of 5
            0.0 out of 5.0

            Lovely location. Views were great. Enjoyed the deer, turkeys, magpies, and the eagle. House was clean and comfortable. Owner was responsive when we needed a plunger. We have saved it for a return.

            Days Inn by Wyndham Cortez $59
            Reviewed on Apr 23, 2019
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            Days Inn by Wyndham Cortez

            Days Inn by Wyndham Cortez

            430 N State Hwy 145, Cortez, CO
               
              3.5 of 5
              2.0 out of 5.0

              Basic motel with friendly staff. Room was clean and comfortable.

              Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez $91
              Reviewed on Apr 7, 2019
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              Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez

              Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez

              2244 E Hawkins St, Cortez, CO
                 
                4.6 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Very nice and in a very good location which was close to a lot restaurants. Nice area and close to National Park.

                Baymont by Wyndham Cortez $99
                Reviewed on Apr 19, 2019
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                Baymont by Wyndham Cortez

                Baymont by Wyndham Cortez

                2279 Hawkins, Cortez, CO
                   
                  3.9 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Very clean. Beds were sizeable and comfortable. Close to Walmart and other conveniences.