hiking

no dogs

kid friendly

walking

views

wild flowers

birding

nature trips

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.

trail running
6 hours ago

Really interesting trail. The worn trail into the rock was fascinating.

hiking
11 days ago

We hiked up from the canyon to the trailhead and back down. It was an awesome hike and the views were amazing. We saw a ton of wildlife, too. Gets challenging in parts, but entirely doable.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
22 days ago

walking
29 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

hiking
29 days ago

The trail is has a fantastic History! Bring water. If you are not comfortable with heights its very challenging, especially the second longer kiva ladder and some really tight areas going down thereafter. You can always turn around and go back the other way. The full loop is just over 2.5 miles. It will feel longer on a hot day cause there is no shade to speak of. Views and experience is well worth it! But even on a windy day you can be dehydrated easily so bring water in a back pack or bum pack. You will need to be hands free for most of the trail for balance and such. I would rate it as moderate.