MVF Projects // Recreation


B-Cut Trail and Petroglyph Trail

The amazing road we use today to drive into the park today was not the original access to the mesa. Over the years, the main road has been improved with a series of “cuts” made to the hillsides and around cliff faces. As you drive the current park road, remnants of the earlier roadways are still visible through saddles and over hills.

At the B-Cut trail, a new parking lot provides an opportunity for visitors to access and hike the old road bed that was abandoned when the new road section was completed. The trail passes near remnants of a former ranger patrol cabin, and provides spectacular views to the south.

This project entails rehabilitation of almost 6,000 feet of historic roadbed for use as a hiking trail, and rehabilitation of three miles of existing trails to increase visitor enjoyment and safety. Funding will also provide for the creation and installation of an informational placard at the B-Cut trail to tell visitors the trail’s story and significance.

Petroglyph Trail takes visitors on a 3-mile hike past several amazing rock panels featuring the illustrated stories of the Ancestral Puebloans who once lived in the area. The trail was constructed by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, which adds another interesting chapter to the park’s history. Over time, climatic and geological forces have eroded parts of the trail.

Funding is needed to support rehabilitation of the trail for exploration by today’s adventurers. It’s anticipated that the work will be accomplished by a ten person SWCC crew after inspection and documentation of the trail is performed by park archeologists.

Horse Patrol

Visitors now have access to only a small fraction of Mesa Verde National Park’s 52,000 acres. The park is planning to open more of the backcountry to the adventurous tourist via ranger-led hikes and other opportunities. Re-establishing an active horse patrol program is essential to allow this to happen.

Horses are the only practical way to patrol these remote trails and backcountry areas for visitor safety, resource protection of over 4,000 archeological sites, as well as emergency response and transport. The park already has a small horse patrol program; however, with the anticipated increase in visitation to the backcountry, many of the facilities need to be updated and additional seasoned trail horses need to be purchased.

The primary need is for rehabilitation of existing facilities, purchase of equipment, and purchase of additional horses. For example, the existing paddock and barn are not sufficient; a new design will create a workable space that is safer for the rangers and volunteers, and healthier for the horses.
Keep Mesa Verde Fun
Support projects like the Horse Patrol program, the B-Cut Trail, and the Petroglyph Trail—become a member or make a charitable donation today.