Mesa Verde is working to increase access to the park in a phased approach and the park will reopen to visitors on May 24 with limited visitor services. The Morefield Campground and Far View Lodge are also scheduled to reopen on this date.
Outdoor spaces including overlooks and trails will be accessible to the public in accordance with the latest health guidance. Visitors will also be able to experience the Mesa Top and Cliff Palace driving loops, as well as the Far View sites and Park Point. The Visitor and Research Center, along with the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum will remain closed.
The National Park Service encourages people who choose to visit the park during this pandemic to adhere to guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities to protect visitors, employees, and more vulnerable populations. Please avoid crowding and practice Leave No Trace principles.
Visitors traveling from outside the state of Colorado should be aware that they may be traveling through the Navajo Nation on their journey. Due to the significant impact the pandemic has had on residents, there are curfews in place and services may be limited; especially for those traveling at night. Please be respectful of these residents and plan accordingly prior to passing through Navajo Nation lands.
We will continue to monitor all park functions to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19 and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.###
Mesa Top Loop Roads Improvement Project Environmental Assessment
Mesa Verde, CO – The National Park Service is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment to evaluate the impacts of improving the existing Mesa Top Loop Roads and the intersection at the park entrance. Most of the approximately 600,000 annual visitors travel the Cliff Palace Loop, Mesa Top Loop, and Sun Temple Loop roads, since many of the popular park destinations and points of interest are accessed by these roads.
This EA evaluates three alternatives for improvements to the Loop Roads, describes the environment that would be impacted by the alternatives and assesses the environmental consequences of implementing the alternatives.
- Under the no-action alternative, the current management of the roads would continue with no planned improvements to the road or entrance.
- Under alternative B, Mesa Top Loop, Cliff Palace Loop, and Sun Temple Loop roads would be rehabilitated. There would also be improved physical accessibility at adjacent overlooks, improved sidewalks and parking areas, additional visitor parking, and replacement of the current Visitor and Research Center intersection.
- Under alternative C, which has been identified as the preferred alternative, the same improvements as identified under alternative B would be implemented. In addition, the two-way sections of Mesa Top Loop and Sun Temple Loop roads would be widened to accommodate a bike lane.
The document is available for review online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/