Mesa Verde Begins Phased Reopening Sunday

May 19, 2020

Mesa Verde National Park will begin a phased reopening Sunday, about two months after it closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Visitors will be able to hike trails and drive up to overlooks and view cliff dwellings. Group tours to the dwellings, however, remain suspended. The Morefield Campground and the Far View Lodge will also reopen Sunday but other buildings like the visitor center and the Chapin Mesa Archeological Musem will stay closed.

A reopening date for the Wetherill Mesa area has not been set.

In an interview with KSJD at the end of April, Superintendent Cliff Spencer said the park has not furloughed any staff but it did delay hiring some seasonal employees. Spencer also said a reopening plan has been in the works for weeks with guidance from the Montezuma County Public Health Department and federal offices.

The announcement asked those traveling through the Navajo Nation on their way to visit the park to respect the nation’s health orders, which includes a nightly curfew and checkpoints. Navajo Tribal Parks remain closed, including Monument Valley and Four Corners tribal parks.

Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments started a phased reopening last week. Arches and Canyonlands national parks will begin their phased reopenings on May 29.