has few trails, since the extensive backcountry is closed to unaccompanied hiking in order to protect the numerous ancient sites. There are many old routes in all areas of the park, along canyons and across mesas, but all are closed; instead, accessible paths are limited to a few in the northern area to viewpoints, and some further south, mostly to overlooks of cliff dwellings.
Elevation Change (feet)
|Badger House Community Trail
||The ruins of Badger House comprise four mesa top sites, all now protected by metal enclosures. A mostly paved trail visits the different locations, intersecting with the Wetherill Mesa road at several points.
|Farming Terrace Trail
||The remains of several ancient check dams are visited by this short loop trail, which descends slightly into a shallow ravine then returns across the flat lands above. The start point is along the road to Cedar Tree Tower.
|Knife Edge Trail
||The Knife Edge is a narrow, sheer-walled ridge at the edge of a mesa overlooking Montezuma Valley, just west of Morfield Campground. An easy trail runs along the base of the mesa, ending at an overlook of the valley; a good place to watch the setting sun.
|Nordenskiold Site 16 Trail
||An otherwise inaccessible ruin is viewed from an overlook on the east rim of Rock Canyon, reached by a short trail across the top of Wetherill Mesa; the route is level at first then descends slightly towards the end.
|Petroglyph Point Trail
||Starting at the cliff dwelling ruins of Spruce Tree House, on Chapin Mesa, this trail heads downstream along the canyon, giving a good appreciation of the landscape, passing colorful rock formations and another small ruin as well as a set of petroglyphs. The path later climbs to the rim above the canyon and returns along the plateau, with views of distant lands to the west.
|Point Lookout Trail
||Point Lookout, an 8,427 foot summit, overlooks the north part of the national park entrance road, as well as vast areas of the surrounding countryside, including Mancos Valley and Montezuma Valley. The short trail to the top climbs steeply from Morfield Campground then traverses nearly level terrain to the viewpoint.
|Prater Ridge Trail
||This rather long trail loops all around the edge of the bushy mesa west of Morfield Campground, passing no ruins but offering views in all directions. The elevation gain is all at the start; the remainder of the hike is mostly level, over slickrock and grassland along the rim. A cut off trail divides the north and south sections of the loop, allowing shorter round trips of 5.5 or 3.5 miles respectively.
|Soda Canyon Overlook Trail
||Soda Canyon Overlook Trail winds through wooded surroundings, around the head of a side ravine and on to a viewpoint on the rim of a much larger canyon, opposite the ruins of Balcony House on Chapin Mesa - the only location where these may be viewed. Other, more distant ruins are visible further downstream.
|Spruce Canyon Trail
||Spruce Canyon borders Chapin Mesa to the west, and may be explored by a loop trail that while not coming close to any ruins does pass within sight of a few cliff dwellings high up on the far side. The path starts by Spruce Tree House, following the first part of the Petroglyph Point Trail then forking off to the west, leading up Spruce Canyon for a mile then climbing back to the mesa.
|Step House Trail
||The ruins of Step House sit in an alcove at the upper end of a short tributary of Long Canyon, beside Wetherill Mesa; they may be viewed by a self-guided loop trail that drops down quite steeply, passes in front of the site then climbs back to the mesa top.
||Apart from the quick walk to Step House, the accessible ancient sites of Wetherill Mesa are accessed by short paths off the old tram road, now closed to all vehicles: overlooks of Kodak House, Long House and Nordenskiold Site 16, and the mesa top ruins of Badger House. These may be visited individually, or along a 5.2 mile loop, the furthest reaches of which (around Kodak House) are very lightly traveled.