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Petroglyph Point Trail

Get a close-up view of ruins and fascinating native rock art on this hiking path, as you learn about the cultural treasures of Mesa Verde National Park.

While many other prominent petroglyphs in Mesa Verde can be seen only during a guided tour, you can view the wall art perched above Petroglyph Point Trail independently. Follow this 2-mile (3-kilometer) loop trail to view the ancient art as well as the attractive surrounding scenery.

Before you begin hiking, look for Spruce Tree House, the third-largest cliff dwelling in the park. View it from an overlook at the mouth of the trail. Built between the years 1211 and 1278 by the Ancestral Puebloan people, it features approximately 130 rooms and eight kivas (ceremonial chambers). Because of the shelter provided by the cliffs above it, the rocky residence has remained in remarkably good condition over the centuries. This overlook serves as the starting point for Petroglyph Point Trail.

Pick up an instructional trail guide, which will help you navigate the path and point out interesting plants along the way. The path is lined with numbered posts that match up to the numbers on the trail guide, so you can gather knowledge about the natural environment of the region as you walk.

Discover the ancient wall designs that were painted many years ago on a large panel at Petroglyph Point Trail’s lowest point. While some of the images remain a mystery to modern observers, many are easily recognizable as human figures, handprints and four-legged animals. Make sure to pack your camera so you can take plenty of pictures of these primitive artistic works.

Ascend a set of stone steps on the journey back to the trailhead. Though the trail itself begins with a gradual descent, the route get a little steeper toward the end. Wear sturdy shoes and pack plenty of drinking water.

Petroglyph Point Trail is located near the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Admission to the trail is free but requires registration for safety considerations. Although Mesa Verde National Park is open year-round, the trail is open only seasonally. Be sure to check opening hours and times before you travel.


Guide to Exploring around Petroglyph Point Trail


Trip Type
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Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Petroglyph Point Trail

See all 39 Hotels near Petroglyph Point Trail
Far View Lodge

Far View Lodge

Mile Marker 15, inside, Mesa Verde National Park
3.6
of 5, from 778 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Mesa Verde National Park, this resort is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Wetherill Mesa and within 6 mi (10 km) of Park Point and Farming Terrace Trail. Spruce Tree House and Petroglyph Point Trail are also within 6 mi (10 km).

$90
Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez

Holiday Inn Express Mesa Verde-Cortez

2121 E Main St, Cortez
4.4
of 5, from 201 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cortez, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$47
Econo Lodge

Econo Lodge

2020 E Main St, Cortez
3.6
of 5, from 570 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cortez, this motel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$80
Baymont Inn and Suites Cortez

Baymont Inn and Suites Cortez

2279 Hawkins, Cortez
3.9
of 5, from 1,425 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Cortez, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.4 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$76
Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez

Hampton Inn Mesa Verde/Cortez

2244 E Hawkins St, Cortez
4.7
of 5, from 323 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cortez, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$52
Days Inn Cortez

Days Inn Cortez

430 N State Hwy 145, Cortez
3.4
of 5, from 1,230 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Cortez, this motel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and 2 mi (3.2 km) from Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$47
Travelodge Cortez

Travelodge Cortez

1120 East Main Street, Cortez
3.1
of 5, from 362 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Cortez, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).

$46
Super 8 Cortez/Mesa Verde Area

Super 8 Cortez/Mesa Verde Area

505 E Main St, Cortez
3.5
of 5, from 624 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Cortez, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Colorado Welcome Center at Cortez and Cortez Cultural Center. Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Guy Drew Winery are also within 9 mi (15 km).