We're thinking about visiting Mesa Verde in mid-late September 2016, but while researching I noticed some things close after Labor Day, and that the Cliff Palace tours ends on Sept 13 this year (is that earlier than usual because of the restoration work being done?) and Long House tours end Sept 19. Those are the two guided tours we'd really like to do, so I'd like to try to make sure we arrive early enough in September next year to do them. Is there a way to predict when the Cliff Palace and Long House tours will close next year?
Would it be worth trying to go before Labor Day (even though we'd prefer to go a bit later in September) so everything is open? How much would we miss if we went after labor day (but hopefully before the Cliff Palace and Long House tours stopped)?
Also, how much time would you recommend. Based on my research so far, in addition to the Cliff Palace and Long House guided tours, other things we'd be interested in seeing/doing would be the Archaeological museum, Spruce Tree house, drive the mesa top loop, maybe hike the far view sites complex, maybe do another short hike, and see maybe Step House if it's open. (Are there any other must-do's in Mesa Verde that I missed?).