Everyone is invited to Mesa Verde National Park's annual "Hike and Bike" events on Wetherill Mesa on Sept.r 13 and 27. Entrance fees will be waived for participants.
"Come and take advantage of the unique opportunity to hike and bike on the Wetherill Mesa Tram Road," said Superintendent Cliff Spencer.
Wetherill Mesa is closed for the season after Labor Day, but will reopen for hikers and bikers on Sept. 13 and 27.
The Wetherill Mesa Road will open at 9 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m. The Wetherill Mesa Road is located near mile 15 on the park road, just past Far View Lodge. From that junction, visitors are invited to drive 12 miles to the Wetherill Mesa information kiosk where the tram road begins. Hikers and bicycle riders can ride or hike along the 5.5-mile tram loop road. Along the route, stop at Long House, the second-largest cliff dwelling in the park; hike into Step House; explore Badger House Community; and hike to views of Kodak House and Nordenskiöld No. 16. Park Rangers and volunteers will be available to answer questions and point out unique features of each site. All visitors must exit Wetherill Road by 4:30 p.m.
You may bring a picnic lunch and drinking water, or you may purchase lunch at the kiosk.
"The hike and bike has become a popular event closing out the summer season," said Superintendent Spencer. "We hope visitors and local community residents will join us again this year."
For safety's sake, bicycle riding is not allowed on the Wetherill Mesa Road because of its narrow condition and lack of shoulders on other days. Dogs are not permitted on the tram road. Riders and hikers should keep safety in mind at all times: Bring plenty of drinking water and high-energy snacks, and sun and wind protection. Wetherill Mesa is about 7,240 feet above sea level. For more information, call (970) 529-4465.