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“Stunning stone-age ruins framed surrounded by an incredible view into the valley below.”
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 August 3, 2010

Balcony House is just a lot of fun. The views into the valley below it are pretty spectacular and seeing these stone dwellings built 700-800 years ago using only stone tools in such a forbidding location is impressive. I'm usually not one who enjoys having to follow a guide on any trip, but the ranger who conducted our tour was amazing. The story he told about the rise and fall of the Puebloans and how their history tied into their architecture really added a lot of value to the trip. I only expected our ranger to be a baby-sitter, since these ruins are so fragile, but his narration was an integral part of the trip.

2  Thank SpursFan_17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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620 - 624 of 709 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2010

My family and I just got back from a trip touring the American southwest. We stayed at Mesa Verde for one night and took two guided tours - Balcony House and Cliff Palace. Without a question, Balcony House was the best! The tours are smaller than those at Cliff Palace and your get a very intimate experience. I was a little concerned about fitting through the tunnel since I'm a bit of a larger woman, but I twisted my hips in the beginning and had no problems. Actually, the tunnel gets a bit wider and taller as you go through so the worst part is right in the beginning. There's a sample tunnel at the Visitor Center to try out if you aren't sure you'll fit. As for the tunnel itself, I thought it would be a bit claustophobic, but it wasn't at all. You zip through it quickly and having it get taller and wider as you go through helps a lot. As for the ladders, not a big deal at all. My family and I had been on far worse ones during our trip (I have a seven year old and ten year old who LOVED the tour and had no problems at all). I think the worst part was when you climb a ladder to get out of the canyon and have to walk this narrow little trail. There are chains to hold onto, but it's a bit psychologically nervewracking for the couple minutes you're on it. For this reason, I wouldn't take a child younger than 6/7 on the tour.

Cliff Palace is interesting as well, but you tour with a zillion people which sort of ruins the experience. You also see tours in front and behind you as you go through so you don't get the intimate experience that you get from Balcony House. They do offer evening tours for $10 which I think would be VERY worthwhile, and wish we had done.

6  Thank GwenP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2010

The tour was great. The sights were absaloutly stunning. The gift shop was allright (perfect for trinkets, not so much as souvineirs). The staff was very nice.
Over all, it was AMAZING. I had a wonderful experince of a liftime!

Thank fatcat4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2010

I went on this tour with my 6 year old son. He was a little apprehensive about the giant ladder leading into the house, but he sucked it up and managed it no problem. There were lots of older people and larger people that all managed fine. I think you can really psych yourself out if you are afraid of heights. It was a piece of cake, though.

The more challenging area of the tour was at the very end when I had to squeeze myself through this tiny little hole to exit the house. I am not overweight, and I still had to slide my hips sideways. I was looking around before we left and wondering how all the larger folks were going to make it out! They managed just fine, though.

I wouldn't recommend this tour for people afraid of heights or small spaces. I would also suggest that small kids don't go on the tour. I am glad I left my 4 year old with Dad.

It was a very interesting house - and the guide made it a fun and informative experience. Where else would we learn what a kiva is and get to see one?

We did Balcony House, Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House - and that was fine for our 2 day stop. If you only have one full day, you could easily do all three. You need tickets for Balcony House and Cliff Palace, and during the busy times, they sometimes limit tickets for one tour per day, but you can easily get around that restriction if you need to.

Enjoy!

5  Thank Pokee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2009

We saw several highlights of the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, and this was my favorite -- my kids' (ages 11 and 8) too. Be forewarned it involves climbing ladders, stairs and squeezing through narrow crevices. I was fascinated by this place -- for photos and details, please see our family travel blog post at http://away-together.com/2009/09/12/mesa-verde/

1  Thank travelyear001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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