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Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

De
posts: 357
reviews: 16
Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

Just noticed that tour reservations must be done "in person" up to 2 days before which makes me wonder if I could get 4 as a walk in

Generally speaking from your experience in summer visit:

Say in mid June time frame do you think you need a reservation for Cliff Palace or Balcony House if you arrived around 3 in afternoon for one of late afternoon tours

or if I arrive early AM before 1st tour.

Grand Junction...
posts: 4
reviews: 12
1. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

Good luck. Where are you staying? We were camping in the campground and were able to get reservations the night before at the ranger station near the campground. We did Cliff palace and balcony house with an hour in between. This was mid June and the place was busy. You're going to need the reservations.

De
posts: 357
reviews: 16
2. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

Ben

What time did you get reservations for - did you pick the times or just took the 1st that was available

How long was each tour

My projection would arrive sometime around 3PM and stay over at one of motels in Cortez

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 18,123
reviews: 289
3. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

We were there in mid-September this year and there was a long line for the tours so I would say yes book ahead.

Grand Junction...
posts: 4
reviews: 12
4. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

Cortez isn't far, so,you could conceivably drive into the park the evening before to make your reservations at the ranger station near the store( you wouldn't want to go all the way to the visitors center as that's a long drive). The Park's pass is 7 days. Then you could go back to Cortez. If I remember correctly we got tours for 10 am at Cliff palace and Noon Balcony House. You need an hour in between because each tour is an hour and you need time to get to the next ruin. Don't miss either one of these stops, they're incredible. If you have another day Go out to Wetherill Mesa, it's worth it too if you have two days at the Park, because you can't see everything in one day.

Columbia, Maryland
posts: 845
reviews: 4
5. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

We went to Mesa Verde early June 2012. We drove from Durango. We arrived early and had no problem getting 4 tickets for Cliff Palace. It wasn't like we had a choice of any time we wanted, but there were still sufficient choices avaiable. But Iwould advise arriving early. We got there around 9AM.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
posts: 8,110
reviews: 112
6. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

If you are arriving in Cortez, you can get tour tickets for Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House up to two days in advance at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez. Check the hours of operation, but generally in the summer months they are open from 8 to 6. Then you don't have to drive out to the park until the next morning. It is also really nice to stay in the park if you can. You can get your tour tickets and find out what time your tours are, then plan the rest of your day around that, plus get the lay of the land, see the visitor center, etc. and attend a ranger talk that evening; then get an early start the next morning. But if staying in the park isn't an option, then getting the tour tickets at the Welcome Center in Cortez works really well. (And you can go see Black Shawl or Indian dancers at the Cortez Cultural Center that evening)

nps.gov/meve/planyourvisit/tour_tickets.htm

cortezculturalcenter.org/activities/dances

De
posts: 357
reviews: 16
7. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

Thanks for advice

Philadelphia...
posts: 391
reviews: 197
8. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

My family and I did MVNP a few years ago. I'm not sure if they had the 2-day reservation system in place at that time or not. I believe at the time it was that you purchased them the day of the tour at the visitor center or purchased them the night before in Cortez. Needless to say, we arrived at the park around 8:30am and didn't have a problem getting same day tickets to both Balcony House and Cliff Palace. We did the one around 10:00am and the other right after lunch. Like you, we went in mid-June.

My advice is to try and purchase tickets the night before (if you're in the park or in Cortez) for the following day. If not, show up by 8 am at the Visitor Center the day of and hope for the best. I think you have fairly good chance.

9. Re: Reservations Needed for Cliff Palace and Balcony House?

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