On August 23rd and 24th, Cliff Palace will be temporarily closed for technical rock scaling work to remove loose rock fragments from the alcove. There will not be any ranger guided tours of Cliff Palace during the closure. Visitors may see Cliff Palace from overlooks on the Mesa Top driving loop, especially near Sun Temple, and from the Cliff Palace Overlook near the site. Rangers will be available at the Cliff Palace Overlook to provide information about the site and the work being performed. Extra tours of Balcony House will be offered during this time.
A select climbing team comprised of National Park Service employees from Chiricahua National Monument, Rocky Mountain National Park and Arches/Canyonlands National Parks will complete the scaling project. During this time, the team will also assess the alcove to determine if additional rock removal will be needed.
Natural erosional processes such as water, wind, and freezing and thawing patterns cause the surface of sandstone to spall and form cracks. The park removes rock debris from alcove sites annually.
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling at Mesa Verde. The structure is easily the most iconic cliff dwelling in the world, and has been featured in educational and travel programs world-wide. Cliff Palace receives approximately 100,000 visitors per year on ranger guided tours. The park has performed stabilization work in recent years to ensure the integrity of this site for future visitors.