Point Lookout Trail
The 2-mile-long (3-kilometer) Point Lookout Trail begins at a campground near the entrance of the park, but quickly scales the heights of Point Lookout in a series of steep switchbacks. Tackle the path’s twists and turns, which rise 400 feet (120 meters), providing a vigorous workout before revealing wonderful vistas.
Make a stop at Morefield Campground, where the Point Lookout Trail begins. Morefield has a friendly village-like atmosphere and over 250 campsites, each with its own grill, bench, and table. Stay overnight before or after your hike, pick up advice from fellow travelers or just prepare for the day with a pancake breakfast at the café. Use the laundry facility, gas station and gift shop here.
Look for rock shelters, wildflowers, wild turkeys and deer during your climb. Each of these have been spotted in the vicinity of Point Lookout Trail. For safety for your family and the animals, appreciate the wildlife only from a distance.
Observe the historic entrance road to the park from the top of Point Lookout Trail. This two-lane motorway is famous for its series of hairpin twists and turns and its former status as the main entrance to Mesa Verde. Its serpentine shape is all the more striking when viewed from above.
Time your hike to coincide with either sunrise or sunset for an experience you will remember forever. One of the highest points in the entire park, the vantage point from the top of Point Lookout Trail offers 360-degree views. Bring your camera to document the famous colorful skies of the American Southwest.
The start of Point Lookout Trail is about 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the entrance to the park. An admission fee is required to enter the park, but access to the trail is free. Although Mesa Verde National Park is open year-round, the trail and Morefield Campground are open only seasonally. Be sure to check opening hours and times before you travel.