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“Fascinating tour of a 13th Century mini city, the best site at Mesa Verde.”
Review of Balcony House

Balcony House
Book In Advance
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$149.00*
and up
Mesa Verde National Park Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 15, 2011

Photos and marketing for Mesa Verde seem to focus on Cliff Palace, which is the largest site at the park, however the Balcony House site not only offers a tremendously persevered and restored site but one that is really fun to travel to and from. You enter the site by means of a large and sturdy 32 foot ladder, which is double wide and allows you to travel next to your partner providing added security for those intimidated by height. Once you reach the site, you are amazed at how advanced the builders of this mini city were. After the short narration offered by the park ranger you are able to walk around and explore the site entering in and behind the rooms at the site. At the completion of the tour you are treated to traveling though two small corridors or tunnels. No one on our tour even came close to getting stuck, but if you are claustrophobic or terrified of heights you may want to stick with the Cliff Palace or Long House, which are much less strenuous to access. If you are up to a little challenge the Balcony House site should be the first on your list to visit. Tickets, which are required to tour three of the major sites at Mesa Verde, can be purchased at the park or in the nearby city of Cortez at the Colorado Visitors Center. You can purchase your tickets for various tour times offered during the day up to two days in advance, which is great if you are traveling through Cortez or staying in Cortez while visiting Mesa Verde. Securing tickets for your trip in advance helps insure you can visit these tremendous museums, especially during peak visiting times when tickets are limited. Balcony House is about a 30 minute drive from the visitors center, so plan your day accordingly. The tickets are only $3 each and well worth it.

7  Thank ZIPPY87ME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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591 - 595 of 709 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2011

We had previously visited Cliff House which was a good visit. However, Balcony House is absolutely spectacular. It was made even more interesting by our excellent guide, Ranger Joshua.

If you don't have a head for heights, then don't contemplate a visit, you'll frighten yourself to death!!

1  Thank nicmeljones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2011

On the advice of fellow reviewers, this was the tour we chose, selecting a time early in the day before it became too hot (mid-July). Our group was very small, just six total! While the experience itself was very memorable, our Ranger guide's delivery was poor. Because of the small group, she bascially dispensed with her usual spiel and told us we were supposed to ask her questions . . . for like almost the whole tour! At the foot of the first ladder, she informed us that SHE was afraid of heights, that we were absolutely not allowed to ask her any questions as she climbed the ladders (like we would anyway) and that the rungs were going to be very hot (as she donned gloves in front of the group). If we weren't nervous before, we were now! FYI, the rungs were mildly hot (10 a.m.) and somewhat difficult to get a good grip because they were fairly thick.

Wear sturdy footwear and have your hands free for when you are climbing the ladders. Also, don't wear your best duds, as the crawl through the tunnel is dusty. You are able to almost stand halfway through which is a relief.

The second ladder at the end was unexpected and more challenging than the first in that you must move from the top of the ladder onto the rock face where there are "steps" and a chainlink handrail, of sorts. I confess my heart was pounding!

3  Thank Travelers-R-US-246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2011

If you can do one our - do this one. It is more fun and you get a more firsthand experience here, as the group is smaller and you are actuallly inside the cliff dwellings walking around inside the dwelling, rather than looking at it from outside.

The 32' ladder is not scray at all, I am afraid of heights - but really was perfectly fine to do this. My kids 8 and 11 just loved it and the tunnel - its over before it even begins.. it so short..and easily doable.

A neat experience. Take lots of photos.

2  Thank pataz_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2011

The wife signed us up for a wonderful tour with the Ranger. Not for the weak of heart, because the first part of the tour involves climbing a 60 foot wooden hand made ladder.
The last part crawling through a small tunnel not for the very wide of hips!
Every thing else was great. You get to get up close in the ruins, walk in the court yards, while the Ranger gives you the in-depth information on the dwellings. A must see tour for the whole family as long as they can climb a ladder.

1  Thank CavemanHHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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