Mesa Verde National Park High Point Trip Report

Park Point (8,571 ft)

Date: Memorial Day weekend 2000
Author: John Mitchler

Ha! Not only is this a driveup, but it is a celebrated point in the park. Most of the major attractions of Mesa Verde have their own guide pamphlets. Park Point is no exception. The pamphlet focuses on the views from the summit and mentions that when the park was created way back in 1906, the 58th Congress stated, "This backbone or ridge is rolling in outline and from the highest hill over which the trail runs is one of the grandest and most extensive views in the country."

The view is magnificent! You can clearly see the cohp laden Manti-LaSals of UT, the peaks of Wilson & Hespersus (CO cohp's), Shiprock in NM, the Carrizo & Lukachukai Mtns of AZ, and Sleeping Ute Mtn near Four Corners. The summit hosts the lowest fire lookout I've ever seen. Only one step is required to reach the still-operational ranger lookout.

To reach this HP, drive 10.5 miles from US 160, paying the appropriate park fee not too far from the highway. Park Point is well marked on the park road and the spur is only 0.6 miles to the summit parking lot. Restrooms and picnic tables are available. The walk from the park- ing lot to the highpoint is only a few hunderd feet. I noted that the summit BM has an elevation of 8,572 ft, yet the topo lists it as 8,571 ft.