Everyone is invited to Mesa Verde National Parks annual Hike and Bike events on the Wetherill Mesa tram road. The 2012 dates are Saturday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 22. Entrance fees will be waived for those participating. Fall is a great time to enjoy the park, with cooler weather and the changing colors of autumn, said Superintendent Cliff Spencer. Wetherill Mesa is closed for the season after Labor Day, but will re-open for hikers and bikers on September 8 and 22.
On both days, the Wetherill Mesa Road will open at 9 a.m., and close at 3:30 p.m. All visitors must exit the Wetherill Road by 4:30 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. From that point, hikers and bicycle riders can ride or hike along the 5.5 mile long 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 #16. Park Rangers and volunteers will be available to answer questions and point out unique features of each site.
You may bring a picnic lunch and drinking water, or you may purchase snacks or a hot sandwich, chips and a drink for $5 from the Mesa Verde Community Club at the kiosk. Last years hike and bike was a great experience, said Superintendent Spencer. We hope visitors and local community residents will join us again this year.
For safetys sake, bicycle riding is not allowed on the Wetherill Mesa Road itself, due to its narrow condition and lack of shoulders. 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.