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Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde

Distance.42 mi
Elevation Gain43 ft
My Time10 minutes
DifficultyEasy
Closest TownCortez
Food NearbyFar View

Park Point Overlook At Mesa Verde

Park Point Overlook is the highest point in Mesa Verde National Park. It is home to a fire lookout and some of the most impressive views of the park. The trail is an easy walk on a paved road so the area should be able to be enjoyed by most.

The Overlook

When you make it to the Park Point Overlook parking lot you have just a short walk ahead before some of the best views in the park. The trail is paved and less than a quarter mile to make it to the overlook. When you get to the top of the trail you will have three main areas. The main Overlook to the north, the Fire Watch in the middle and the Southern Point to the south.

The most popular spot is the main overlook on the north side. This overlook gives you about 180 degrees of view of the surrounding mesas, peaks, and the valley. The views to the north east are pretty impressive.

A very detailed look at the main mesa from the northern overlook of the Park Point Overlook in Mesa Verde.
A mesa view from the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde

But, the views to the western side are also pretty impressive with the Ute Mountains featured among the mesa landscape.

A view from the northern overlook of the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde. The edge of the large mesa is visible and in the distance is the mountain that is dubbed "Sleeping Ute"
The Mesa and Ute Mountain from the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde.

Either side that you are looking at you should have some remarkable views of the surrounding areas but there is still more to see on this very short hike.

The Fire Lookout

The Fire Lookout is pretty obvious as the only building in the area. It was built in the 1930’s and was previously manned 24 hours a day during the fire season. Rangers would mark lightning strikes and check for smoke through the windows of the lookout. The lookout found itself in some disrepair and was restored in 2009. While technology has taken over a big part of fire watching, it is always nice to see the look at the past combine with the future.

The octagon shaped fire watch building at the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde.
The Fire Lookout at Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde

Southern Point

Past the Fire Watch is another observation point on the southern side of the hill. The southern point gives some amazing prespectives of the rest of the park. The park road is clearly visible among rolling hills of green. It is quite the contrast to the opposite side of the overlook.

View of rolling hills and a winding park road from the southern point of the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde.
The View from the Southern Point of the Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde

Distance and Elevation

If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around .42 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 43 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 8,572 feet. I was also moving for a total of 10 minutes.

Effort

One of the easier “hikes”, this is a paved path that is very short to some really amazing views. Most everyone will be able to enjoy this hike. There is a 7% grade so be careful if you need assistance with mobility. I am going to rank this as an easy hike.

Terrain

This walk is paved and nice and easy.

Access

The trail for Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde National Park is located just past the Morfield Campground and through the tunnel about a 11 miles from the entrance of the park. There is a $30 fee in summer and $20 dollar fee in winter for a car to enter the park. You can see more of the fee schedule here. No restroom facilities were available at the trailhead.

Wrapping up Park Point Overlook at Mesa Verde

The Park Point Overlook is a great stop on your way through Mesa Verde National Park. The trail is short and paved and most of the visitors to the park should be able to enjoy the views. The overlook gives great views of the surrounding mesas and the southern point gives a really nice perspective of how big the park is.

If it is your first trip to the park I really suggest stopping here for a quick trip to see the views and to learn a bit about the fire watch.

I have added this hike and all of my hikes to my interactive map page that you can find here. If you have a suggestion or comment you can email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com. Or follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!

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