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.

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