Balcony House (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:

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. Take this turn and follow the loop about three and a half miles as you circle around to the Balcony House trailhead and parking area.

Synopsis: Another of the fascinating ranger-led walks through time. The Balcony House dwelling is a bit smaller, but no less amazing in its architecture and ingenuity than the larger Cliff Palace and Long House.

Trail sequence: Balcony House trail

Type: Loop

Distance: 0.4 miles

Rating: Easy (factors: heat, steep sections, ladder climbing)

Notes: This is a ranger-guided tour for which tickets must be purchased in advance. We are not usually inclined toward these kinds of attractions, but the cliff dwelling tours in Mesa Verde are well worth the effort, as well as the relinquishing of autonomy.

Track: Balcony House - Mesa Verde NP: AllTrails, GaiaGPS

Turn by Turn:

  -- A written guide is hardly needed here, as the ranger will lead the entire tour. Just be aware that there will be some stairs, some ladder climbing and some squeezing through narrow openings here and there. The ascent out is short but steep, and can cause problems for those not in good health.

Photos: Flickr

Video: Youtube