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Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Tucson, Arizona
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346 posts
92 reviews
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Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Which of these is the hardest to tour? I don't know if I would get too scared on a high ladder. I'd like to see them but don't want to get part way up and cause a scene. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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21,870 posts
55 reviews
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1. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

The ladders at Cliff Palace are inside a crack in the cliff and are very secure feeling. I have taken many visitors of all ages up those ladders with no problems. The ladder at Balcony House is more open and I find it a bit more scary.

Photos at

carsonstravels.us/coloradophotosmesaverde.htm

mesaverdecountry.com/tourism/press/pr_images…

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Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
1,128 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Brisbane, Australia
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845 posts
170 reviews
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2. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Two totally different types of access. Cliff Palace no real problems, Balcony House big exposed ladder followed by having to crawl through a small opening. Ibcredible places to visit.

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Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
1,128 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Tucson, Arizona
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346 posts
92 reviews
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3. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Casa Azul & And Pancho: Thanks for your replies. I think I'll have to stick with Cliff Palace. I'd like to see them both but don't know if I could handle getting up to Balcony House. I think going up the ladder would be easier for me than having to get back on it to get back down. By the way, Casa Azul, those were great photos.

Mentioned in this post
Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
1,128 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Brisbane, Australia
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845 posts
170 reviews
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4. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

FerndaleGirl,

After going into Balcony House you continue climbing up to get out. The main ladder was going up into the place.

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Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
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10,954 posts
169 reviews
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5. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

I was also going to say you don't have to go down the ladders, so that makes it more do-able, IMO.

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60900-d2602…

Minnesota
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451 posts
97 reviews
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6. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

My son has a fear of heights and did both Balcony House and Cliff Palace tours -- we were a little concerned after hearing the Ranger describe the Balcony House tour, but the ladders are anchored securely and have wide rungs, although they are steep and tall (just don't look down!). More ladders and climbing involved in the Balcony House tour. They are both unique and if you can do both, they are worthwhile. We did the Cliff Palace Twilight Tour, a smaller group as the sun set with a ranger or foundation volunteer in period costume -- very special way to enjoy the ruins.

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Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
1,128 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
San Antonio, Texas
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2,266 posts
27 reviews
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7. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Cliff Palace has a few ladders, but they're all very short and easy. The worst one seemed to be about 12 feet or so at the end, but it was in between rock, so it's a lot less scary than say, putting a ladder up on the side of your house and climbing up it. Most of the ladders are in the 4-6 foot range though, if I recall correctly.

The Balcony House ladder is about 30 feet, but isn't too bad as long as you don't look down. I'd still get the Balcony House tickets if I was you. The worst case scenario is you don't do the ladder and just kick back and relax for 20-30 minutes at the bottom with a nice view of the valley below until the next ranger comes and unlocks the door to the staircase leading to the beginning. You're not committing to anything just by doing the tour.

Cliff Palace has the better ruins of the two IMO, but Balcony House is worth the old college try, as there's a really spectacular ruin near the end of the tour that shouldn't be missed if you think you'd have a decent chance at that ladder. If you do decide to give Balcony House a try, just go up the ladder without thinking too much. The longer you hang out down below, the tougher it starts to look. Once you get on it and start moving, it's not too bad though.

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Cliff Palace
Cliff Palace
1,128 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
Balcony House
Balcony House
711 Reviews
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
2,266 posts
27 reviews
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8. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

D'oh... I didn't see this topic was more than a month and a half old.

Tucson, Arizona
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346 posts
92 reviews
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9. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

Thanks for all your help. We aren't going until the end of August - just planning ahead. I'll give them both a try and report back here.

WestSlope,CO
Destination Expert
for Colorado
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10,954 posts
169 reviews
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10. Re: Balcony House and Cliff Palace

That's okay Spursfan! It's always good to get such detailed input for future searches and questions, plus many times people are planning several months ahead, as FerndaleGirl says.

Have fun, FerndaleGirl! Mesa Verde is amazing. Hope you have time for the Anasazi Heritage Center, too.

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