hiking

kid friendly

no dogs

walking

views

wild flowers

birding

nature trips

trail running

Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities. Life in Bandelier The Ancestral Pueblo people lived here from approximately 1150 CE to 1550 CE. They built homes carved from the volcanic tuff and planted crops in mesatop fields. Corn, beans, and squash were central to their diet, supplemented by native plants and meat from deer, rabbit, and squirrel. Domesticated turkeys were used for both their feathers and meat while dogs assisted in hunting and provided companionship. Moving On By 1550, the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from this area to pueblos along the Rio Grande. After over 400 years the land here could no longer support the people and a severe drought added to what were already becoming difficult times. Oral traditions tell us where the people went and who their descendents are. The people of Cochiti Pueblo, located just south and east along the Rio Grande, are the most direct descendents of the Ancestral Pueblo people who built homes in Frijoles Canyon. Likewise, San Ildefonso is most closely linked to Tsankawi.

hiking
19 days ago

My hiking partner and I have hiked this beautiful trail three times in the last couple years, mostly for the quiet and the breath-taking views. We always take a picnic and plenty of water in the pack (sunscreen is a must regardless of the time of year). The trail is easy to follow, but there are a couple of steep ladders to climb to the top of the mesa where the ancestral people lived. It's much less travelled than the main Bandelier trails, and as Robert Frost wrote, that makes all the difference. Note that the trail is exceptional dusty and the volcanic ash surface is relatively crumbly, so hiking boots will serve you better than sneakers.

The starting point to this trail is kinda random. The sign in the photos posted - is on the right side of the dirt road. The hike was majestic. Once you are deep within the canyons, it is very peaceful. A lot of ups and downs. The petrified trees created lovely views.

Easy and very informative trail, many ruins can be seen.

This was an amazing trail! I had never seen or done anything like it before! I did the main loop, took the route up to the cave dwellings, and also did the alcove house. It's all connected and easy to follow.

You can hike in the cave dwellings that have ladders and I definitely recommend it. Oh and also you can buy a little self guided tour book for $1 in the visitors center, which I thought was worth it.

The alcove house portion shouldn't be attempted by anyone with a fear of heights. Like really. I had issues with it and in general I wouldn't say I have issues with heights. However, the pay off is well worth it!

I went on a weekend in August and it wasn't too crowded. I definitely saw other people but we were spaced out really well.

Definitely do this hike. It was the highlight of my trip!

hiking
1 month ago

Great history! Super ladder Climb! a little too busy... ; very busy Fall season.

hiking
1 month ago

LOVE LOVE LOVED! this trail! We went late afternoon which highlighted the afternoon sun on the beautiful terrain and VIEWS! Highly recommend!

hiking
2 months ago

Had a great time and loved seeing all the pottery shards .

hiking
2 months ago

We loved it. Great place to both take your time and speak it all in or zip through. Very repeatable.

hiking
2 months ago

There are some steep spots and ladders that make this challenging for an easy rating. My 70 year old mother had to turn back and sit it out. Easy should allow all ages. That being said it was amazing but take water and sunscreen. I rate this moderate on the climbs and easy on the flats.

hiking
2 months ago

My boyfriend and I found this trail using this awesome app. We were supposed to go to Bandelier National Monument but I could not get on a packed shuttle, claustrophobic, and the shuttle was the only way to get there.

Anyway, we found this trail and my boyfriend, Matt, said it was even better than Bandelier. It's not as crowded and the un excavated site really lends itself to many surprises. I'm not saying you should skip Bandelier but this trail was an absolute beauty.

on Alcove House Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Great, very different from anything I've ever done.

trail running
3 months ago

Lung and quad busting! Just what I was looking for. Living at sea level, this trail definitely humbled me. Beautiful views at summit, wish I could do it weekly.

on Cerro Grande Trail

3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Stunning views and amazing history. It's a must hike.

Cool ruins and caves dwellings, but as a hike it wasn't much...