Mesa Verde Visitor Distribution and Transportation Plan
In 1906 when Congress designated Mesa Verde National Park, access to certain cultural, natural, and scenic resources, including the amazing cliff dwellings for which the park is famous, was considered essential for the visitor experience. The connection to these resources is just as important
today and tomorrow as it has been for the last 100 years.
Over the years, a system of narrow and winding roadways has developed
in the park primarily for visitors in private motor vehicles. In recent
years, increasing visitation, along with the changing demographics of
park visitors, has resulted in a constrained and outdated circulation
system. This system currently lends itself to high concentrations of
visitors in some locations during certain times of the year, while leaving
other spectacular sites and areas of the park virtually unvisited. Also,
opportunities for visitors to access the park via any means other than
their own vehicles are limited. Visitors coming to the park during the
summer months may face long waits, disappointment, and frustration
instead of the great experience they had expected.
Less obvious but equally important is the fact that as visitors drive
throughout the park, tailpipe emissions from their cars turn into haze
and air pollution which can diminish views and harm plants, animals, and
archeological sites across the landscape - the very landscape the National
Park Service is charged with protecting.
Can we better distribute visitation and provide alternate means of
transportation in Mesa Verde National Park? We believe that we can, and
we have launched the Visitor Distribution and Transportation Plan to
We hope you will join us in this eff ort. Please read this newsletter and
share any thoughts, ideas, or comments you may have to help us design a
more efficient, earth-friendly, multi-modal transportation system while
allowing visitors to see more of what Mesa Verde has to offer in less crowded
conditions. Your input is valuable to us and essential to the planning process!
Superintendent, Mesa Verde National Park
National Park Service
Denver Service Center
c/o Treff Alexander
P.O. Box 25287
Denver, CO 80225