Mesa Verde National Park tour tickets being sold at Visitor and Research Center

Tickets for ranger-guided tours of the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park are being sold at the park's new Visitor and Research Center, announced Superintendent Cliff Spencer. "We hope everyone will make the new facility their first stop," he said. The building is located just off U.S. Highway 160 at the park entrance and is currently open every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 to 4:30 p.m. The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tickets may also be purchased at the Colorado Welcome Center in Cortez. Extended summer hours begin on May 24, 2013.

The Far View Visitor Center, located at milepost 15 on the park road, is now closed to the public. All visitors should stop at the new Visitor and Research Center as they enter the park to obtain park information and purchase tickets for the ranger-guided tours.

Ranger-guided tours of Cliff Palace began on April 7, with tours offered hourly from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On April 21, Balcony House opens to the public for four tours daily, offered at 9:30 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Student-oriented tours of Balcony House for school groups are available by reservation. Call 970-529-5079 for information. Wetherill Mesa and Long House open for the season on Friday, May 24, 2013; tour tickets are required for Long House. Spruce Tree House is open daily with no tour ticket required. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/meve or contact the park directly at (970) 529-4465.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 398 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.