Mesa Verde National Park visitors can take part in new park changes

Posted at: 07/08/2014 4:46 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Summer vacation means that people will be loading up the car and heading to national parks. Unfortunately, some of those visitors are causing problems at one national park.

“I think that visitor enjoyment goes down a little bit because you are dealing with a crowd,” said Cliff Spencer, superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park.

Despite the crowds, hundreds of thousands make their way to Mesa Verde National Park each summer.

“It doesn't seem as severe this time of year,” said Ken Platt.

Platt and his family are visiting from South Carolina.

“We haven't had any problems parking.”

Visitors we talked to, say crowds aren't bad today but officials say this is the busy season.

“A little under 500,000 visitors a year,” said Spencer.

Mesa Verde National Park is a 52,000 acre site. He says that 90 percent of the visitors see the park between May and September.

“Most of the visitor activity happens in a small corridor along the road and at the archeological sites,” he said.

Spencer says a lot of visitors are missing sites because of how difficult it is to get to them.    

The national park service wants to change that. There are many options already on the table.

“Put in transit systems, is it building or advertising trails more activities for people to do, is it changing the schedule.”

Spencer says visitors will be part of the solution.

“The visitors know it best because they are the ones that come to the park and visit these sites.”

We have posted a link to the form to add your input to the Transportation plan, it can be found here: