I did Spruce House with twin five-year-old boys last week. They enjoyed the kivas a lot. The hike was steep, though, and it could be a long walk for him.
They did find it cool, though.
If he isn't afraid of ladders, he could do it, but there are other considerations, IMO. How well does he listen and obey? If you tell him to stay close to you, will he? Or is he likely to run to the edge of the nearest drop-off or try to climb the dwelling walls? Can he stand or sit fairly quietly while the ranger speaks to the group? Some four year olds can do this; some 8 year olds can't.
agree with MWS. Keeping him away from the edge and from climbing :)
Ladders, I think, will be no problem. They are really sort of "enclosed" I have a terrible fear of heights and they bothered me not at all because of that. I would simply follow him up the ladder. The issues that MWS brought up would be more of a concern for me.
4 year old twins in my family-- boy and girl-- I would feel comfortable taking them-- depends on yours personality :)
If he is very active, will you all enjoy the ranger's tour of Cliff Palace and will the others in the group? This is a 1-hour tour that many people have waited a life-time to take. Will they wish they had been in a different tour group? Will you be worn to a frazzle? Perhaps one of the self-guided tours would work? Then you could speed up your tour if need be.
Your son might also enjoy the Junior Ranger program that is designed for children as young as 4. www.nps.gov/meve/forkids/beajuniorranger.htm
Thanks for all the info and suggestion. I will observe where my son fits in before the trip.
Very easily. My daughter did it at the same age.
We ended up taking my "4 yr-old minus one week" son to the Cliff Palace tour in September. He behaved very well and climbed the ladder easily. He loved the cliff dwelling exploration so much and want to do more, so we hiked the Spruce Tree House trail as well. He enjoyed counting the vultures in the sky on the cliff side of the Spruce Tree House. He also earned a Junior Ranger Badge.
Thanks for the follow up. It's always nice to know the end result. I'm glad you had a good time. Mesa Verde is amazing, yes?
I am so glad to see the outcome! We are headed to Mesa Verde (on the way back from Yellowstone) in early June and I have a little guy that will be 3 1/2 but since he hangs with his older siblings 24 hours a day he's pretty "big" :) I think we might be able to handle it!!!! Glad your little guy enjoyed so much of your trip!