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“Small cliff house, worth a look”
Review of Step House

Step House
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 October 2017

This site on the Wetherill Mesa is a one mile loop. No ticket or guide required which is nice. It took us 40-45 minutes to do the loop and enjoy the pit houses and cliff dwellings. It could be done faster if you don’t visit with the Ranger or spend time looking at the site guide. This site has a partially reconstructed pit house which was interesting to see. For us, the site was very doable but saw others struggle. The path to the right is mostly paved and has very steep steps but do you have a railing. It was mostly in the shade and you have a great view of the ruins as you approach. The path to the left was more of a gradual trail down but 100% in the sun. It might be considered wheelchair/large wheeled stroller accessible with some effort?? If steps are problem you can use the left path down and back. We got to the parking lot,had some lunch and took this hike prior to our Long House tour. Restrooms and water fountain are available. Wild horses roam nearby and if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse. If you’re in the area, definitely take a look.

1  Thank IowaTravelFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"pit house"
in 9 reviews
"wetherill mesa"
in 22 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 16 reviews
"answer questions"
in 10 reviews
"parking lot"
in 9 reviews
"long house"
in 25 reviews
"left path"
in 2 reviews
"uphill hike"
in 2 reviews
"park ranger"
in 8 reviews
"the cliff"
in 14 reviews
"main attractions"
in 3 reviews
"free tour"
in 2 reviews
"dont miss"
in 2 reviews
"easy trail"
in 2 reviews
"the loop"
in 4 reviews
"nice walk"
in 2 reviews
"wild horses"
in 2 reviews
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13 - 17 of 94 reviews

Reviewed 14 October 2017

This is the only cliff house in the park you can visit without a tour ticket, so you can wander around it on your own and at your leisure. But what makes it really unique is that it is also the only cliff house where you can walk down to the ruins and then also hike around to the cliff edge directly above the cliff house and see it from that vantage point as well.

Step House (named for stone steps the inhabitants used to access it) requires an easy and short 1 mile round-trip hike. The trail starts by the flagpole at the Long House trailhead. At a fenced junction you can take the right-hand side of the loop which entails climbing down some steep metal stairs and offers good views of the cliff house as you approach it, or take the left-hand trail which goes by the cliff edge and descends more gradually, without stairs. I recommend going down to the right so you can see the cliff house as you approach it and then completing the loop up the left-hand trail so you can see the cliff edge above the ruins on your way out. The ruins themselves are smallish, but very interesting. And if you happen to time it right, offer an intimate experience without the crowds at the other sites.

Thank AeneasAtSea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2017

While waiting for the Long House tour we hiked down to the Step House. No ticket or guide is required, although there was a ranger on duty at the Step House, which I assume is the norm. This is an easy and very worthwhile hike, don't miss it!

Thank parksvisitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2017 via mobile

This is the only house that you can enter without being on a ranger led tour and the only one that people can do who are not in really good physical condition. It was a reasonable 1 mile loop hike to access this house and gives most people the opportunity to first hand experience one of the houses. So glad we were able to do it and get up close to some of these amazing structures from 800 years ago

Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 September 2017

Most of the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde require a ticket, generally costing $5 per person. This one doesn't. It doesn't have ranger guided tours per se, instead it has rangers posted down in the dwelling to answer questions and make sure the visitors don't do anything stupid or destructive. This site isn't as large as the other cliff sites that are open, but it does have some unique features. It has the remains of an early style pit house one one side, and the remains of a later cliff dwelling in a style more consistent with the other cliff dwellings on the other. Many of the sites on Mesa Verde were abandoned and reused over the centuries, this is the only cliff dwelling that really shows it clearly, however. One tip, you can enter by taking one of two paths, one leads off to the right, the other to the left. If you come in hot weather, go to the right and follow the same trail back out. The trail to the right has shade, the trail to the left is totally exposed to the sun and gets quite hot.

Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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