Soda Canyon Overlooks (P.O.I.)

SA Report: Unstuck in time

Trip Date: 8/26/2017

Location: Mesa Verde National Park

Permit/Pass: Vehicles: (1/2-4/30, 11/1-12/31 - $15), (5/1-10/31 - $20), Motorcycles: (1/2-4/30, 11/1-12/31 - $10), (5/1-10/31 - $15), Bicyclists/Individuals: (1/2-4/30, 11/1-12/31 - $7), (5/1-10/31 - $10)


Trail Maps:, nps.gov2

Directions: From Highway 160 in southwest Colorado take the Mesa Top Ruins (Mesa Verde NP) exit and follow the road 15 miles, where you'll pass the right turn for Wetherill Mesa, and continue onto Chapin Mesa. Remain on Mesa Top Ruins Rd. for another 5.4 miles before coming to a left turn onto Cliff Palace Loop. Follow this road for 3.8 miles to the Soda Canyon Overlooks trailhead, just a bit past the Balcony House parking area. 

Synopsis: A short, fun and easy little hike to some canyon overlooks, including a view of Balcony House, one of the bigger cliff dwellings. This is a nice way to work off the kinks of standing and waiting during a tour, and getting out to see some of the beautiful canyon scenery.

Trail sequence: Soda Canyon Overlooks trail

Type: Balloon loop

Distance: 1.4 miles

Elevation: min - 6797', max - 6847'


Rating: Easy (factors: heat)

Notes: The trailhead is easy to miss. It's just a narrow pullout on the right side of the road a short distance past the parking area for Balcony House.

Track: Soda Canyon Overlooks - Mesa Verde NP: AllTrails, GaiaGPS

Turn by Turn:

  -- You head out from the trailhead in a generally northeast direction over slightly rocky and barely descending terrain. Soon you make a hard right turn to the southeast and continue straight until at just over a mile there is a fork in the path. Either direction takes you to a couple of worthy overlooks of the canyon and a view of Balcony House.

  -- Upon returning to the junction, complete the loop and return the way you came, first heading northwest then veering left to head back to the trailhead.

Photos: Flickr

Video: Youtube