Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
375.00 ft (114.30 m)
Trail type
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Petroglyph Point Trail is located on the Chapin Mesa within Mesa Verde National Park. The trail leads to the largest panel of petroglyphs in the park. This trail is closed during the winter months. The trailhead isn't obvious at first because the trail doesn't begin until you have hiked down into the canyon for almost a half-mile. Follow the signs for the Spruce Tree House that begin next to the museum. The hike is crowded initially until you pass the viewpoint for Spruce Tree House and reach the trailhead for the actual hike.

The trail takes you on an ancient canyon path to the largest petroglyph panel in the park. It traverses around the cliff with little change in elevation, and with no areas of danger from the cliffs, this is a nice trip for families. Some sections of the trail are more primitive than others, so there is a little loose ground to deal with. The trail does have a few tight spots where a large adult may have to turn sideways to pass through. The trail is well-marked with numbered markers. The petroglyph panel is located at marker 24. 

This trail also makes for a nice afternoon hike since the trail is mainly in the shade for the first half of the trek. After reaching the petroglyphs, the trail climbs to the top of the mesa, which is exposed to the sun for 1.3 miles. You will have unobstructed views of Spruce and Navajo canyons as you continue the loop until you return to the starting point at the museum.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass


Beautiful views. Historic artwork. Cliff dwellings. Solitude.


Trail very narrow at a few points.

Trailhead Elevation

6,750.00 ft (2,057.40 m)


Big vistas
Geologically significant



Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.