Farming Terrace Trail

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Adjacent to the Cedar Tree Tower area is the trailhead for the Farming Terrace Trail. This 1/2 mile loop trail provides an opportunity for a leisurely hike. Along the trail there are good examples of Ancestral Puebloan check dams and farming terraces.

Terracing was a common strategy used by the people of Mesa Verde. Check dams were built along sloping, narrow drainages, creating the terraced effect. The dams slowed water runoff from rainfall or melting snow. As the water slowly ran down the drainage, soil would be captured behind each dam. These pockets of soil retained moisture and became perfect places for planting. The Farming Terrace Trail helps you to discover how farming was accomplished at Mesa Verde 800 years ago.

Beginning and ending on the spur road to Cedar Tree Tower, this 1/2 mile loop leads to a series of prehistoric check dams built by the Ancestral Puebloans to create farming terraces.
Natural History: This trail is a good place to look for lizards, hummingbirds, and a wide variety of plants.

The Farming Terrace Trail allows visitors to learn about water retention and other ancient farming techniques.

Cedar Tree Tower & Farming Terrace Trail (allow about 10 to 15 minutes to see Cedar Tree and about 45 to 60 minutes to hike the trail) Cedar Tree Tower is a surface archeological site with a kiva. Just before the Cedar Tree Tower site is the trail head for the Farming Terrace Trail. This trail offers a short hike (1/2 mile round trip) to prehistoric farming terraces. This is also a good location for an eco-hike. Please note that parking is limited in this area and large buses will have difficulty maneuvering if other vehicles are present. Please do all loading/unloading at the tower/kiva site, not at the Farming Terrace trail head.

There are many interesting structures near the trail.


  • Trail Measurement: 0.5 Miles
  • Compass Latitude: 37°11'52.6"N
  • Compass Longitude: 108°29'02.7"W
  • Numeric Latitude: 37.197936
  • Numeric Longitude: -108.484072
  • Elevation in Meters: 2,128 to 2,164
  • Elevation in Feet: 6,982 to 7,100

If you have information about this trail please fill out the Add/Edit Trail form.


  • Trail Location
  • Trail Measurement
    0.5 Miles
  • Compass Latitude
  • Compass Longitude
  • Numeric Latitude
  • Numeric Longitude
  • Elevation in Feet
    6,982 to 7,100
  • Elevation in Meters
    2,128 to 2,164
  • Trail Images
  • Trail Maps
    • Trail GPS Files
      • Trail Weather

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