Soda Canyon Trail

Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado Plateau, Colorado

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Soda Canyon Trail


  • Soda Canyon Overlook.- Soda Canyon Trail
  • Soda Canyon trail is quite flat, but it offers great views at the end.- Soda Canyon Trail
  • Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica).- Soda Canyon Trail
  • View of Balcony House on the cliff opposite.- Soda Canyon Trail
  • Soda Canyon.- Soda Canyon Trail
  • Soda Canyon, showing a great example of the typical Mesa Verde land forms.- Soda Canyon Trail
Overview + Weather
Great views. Easy hike.
Colorado Plateau, CO
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
62.00 ft (18.90 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.30 mi (2.09 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,793.00 ft (2,070.51 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

One of the great short hikes on Chapin Mesa in Mesa Verde National Park is the trail out to the Soda Canyon Overlook. Just past the Balcony House parking area, this is a great hike to do after a Balcony House tour. There will likely be few to no other people on the trail, which is a great respite after one of the crowded cliff dwelling tours on the mesa.

Starting at the small parking area on Cliff Palace Loop, the trail heads out on a level track through the Utah juniper and pinyon pine forest. Wildflowers and cactus flowers constitute most of the scenery until the trail approaches the edge of the canyon. Here there are three overlooks, each giving a somewhat different point of view down Soda Canyon. At the first overlook there is a great view of the alcove containing the Balcony House ruin. It is hard not to admire the people who lived in these canyons for hundreds of years, farming on the mesa tops and carrying their harvests down the precarious stone paths to the cliff dwellings like Balcony House.

After following the short loop past the three overlooks, the trail rejoins the main route back to the parking area.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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