Explore the most popular hiking trails in Bandelier National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

on Cerro Grande Trail

15 days ago

We arrived this morning to find that about 95% of the park is closed due to fire hazard, including for hiking. I have never used fire as a hiking method and find it unacceptable to pay the $25 fee only to be able to hike the tourist trails, which is all that is open.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice short, easy hike., and not very challenging. You get to see a lot of ruins, cave dwellings, and petroglyphs. You can climb (via ladders) to some of the cave dwellings. If you go an extra 0.5 miles before you Loop back, you can visit the Alcove house which is formally known as the ceremonial cave. It’s located around 140 ft. above the Frijoles canyon floor. It’s an actual cave dwelling in the side of a cliff. It has a reconstructed kiva, viga holes, and niches of former homes. You access it by a series of ladders that are strategically placed on the face of the mountain. The ladders are very easy to negotiate. However, if you’re afraid of heights, it might be an issue. I gave it 4 stars because it was very crowded and noisy. I’ve been here multiple times of the day on separate visits, and it seems to always be crowded. If it wasn’t so crowded, it would definitely get an extra star. It’s still a good hike that I wouldn’t pass up.

on Frijolito Trail

1 month ago

The trail was a little steep at first, but levels out at the top. The steeper portion is definitely doable, and well worth it. You have great panoramic views. You also get a great bird’s eye view of the Indian ruins below in the canyon. You also get a great view of the Alcove house across the canyon. Overall, an easy hike. We saw a lot of blooming cacti, flowers, etc. I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone.

1 month ago

Great views, great petroglyphs, and a lot of interesting caves. It was an easy hike, but I would suggest going early, especially on the weekend. I went on a Sunday around 2pm. At first I was the only one there, but before long it was getting busier.

hiking
1 month ago

Main Loop Trail is best with guild book so as not to miss the petroglyphs along the way. Don’t forget binoculars for views of canyon and other dwellings not close to trail.
Climbed to Alcove House in late afternoon, the tallest ladder’s rungs were very hot to the touch due to warm temperatures and afternoon sun.
I’m extremely afraid of heights but this opportunity was too great to miss.
Don’t look down
Stare straight ahead
Take one step at a time
Don’t attempt when crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike to do on Mother’s Day! Not too many people on the trail. Cool view of the trickling waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Very neat, allowed hands-on exploration of historical dwellings in such a beautiful setting. We were there in the evening around sunset & it was very peaceful.

Nice views, easy walk. Lots of history to learn about.

2 months ago

Great way to check out the Pueblo ruins. Don’t go on a gusty day; the switchbacks can be dangerous, but a very well maintained hike and you can hit the visitors center too.

awesome trail........ it would have been fun to live here 300 years ago.......

hiking
2 months ago

Fun easy hike on a well maintained trail, giving us awesome views of the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike from campground to the visitors center. The views of the canyon are incredible! The trail is well maintained and not difficult.

Absolutely loved this trail. So much to take in from the views of distant snow capped mountains to ruins of tribal peoples. The many caves were exciting as were the petroglyphs. Loved climbing up and down the ladders and they had the cleanest bathroom I’ve ever seen in a park. Highly recommend this trail.

Beautiful views at the top of all the nearby mountain ranges and the Valles Caldera Park. I wasn’t used to the altitude and the incline is unrelenting. I had to stop every 10-20 yards near the top to catch my breath. I didn’t quite realize how steep it was until I headed back down and really had to watch my step. I’m still a pretty novice hiker, and it took me about 2-2.5 hours up (lots of breaks) and 1 hour back down. I’m not sure I would do this one again unless I more acclimated to the altitude, but it was worth it at least once for the great views which start about halfway up.

hiking
2 months ago

Leisure hike on well groomed trail. Smell of sunshine and bushes. The four ladders were the highlight, and is reasonably family friendly — kids 6 or 7 years old seem to climb up and down with no problem. More things to see on the main loop, including a few more ladders (much shorter), and some pretty cool petroglyphs.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice walk. Unfortunately trail stops at upper falls. The rock striation is really impressive

Beautiful views, several caves, and lots of ancient pottery shards to see. Easier to follow loop if you go to the left when you see the loop sign. Get a guide book from main Bandelier sight if you go there first. Trail has numbered signs that follow along with book. I wouldn’t have seen all the pottery without it! Pretty quiet, only saw a few people. A little tricky in some spots to see where the trail actually is but worth it!

Breathtaking views!

this trail has it all. dramatic views , caves, ancient history and diverse floral. amazing!!

Such a nice trail. I recommend buying the map in the visitors center to follow along with the numbers on the trail.

I loved this trail! It involves several ladders and wouldn't be great for those scared of heights! The view of the canyon is beautiful from the top.

hiking
4 months ago

I was stalked by a gang of deer. Other than that, it was scrumptious. Didn’t care for the $20 entry.

Great offshoot from the main loop. I ran across it by accident and was glad I did. It’ is easy to accomplish because of the switchbacks. I wasn’t aware of the slow decent until I came back down. My loss. It was great for exercise and scenery. This is one of the best areas to take kids. I wish I had known about this park when mine were small.

walking
4 months ago

A very easy trail up to the very end.

I would take the heights warning very seriously. At the end you climb ladders pretty far up. It’s best part about the whole route though.

It’s also really cool seeing the history of the culture that used to live in the valley as well.

Great hike. You are quickly rewarded with great views early in the trek and they just keep coming. Good trail guide for stops along the way. Keep your AllTrails map active though - easy to miss the second ladder at the far end of the loop. Good for kids that are careful - steep drops mean they have to be cautious. Went in January - almost alone on the trail. Beautiful!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice and relaxing trail. It was disappointing that that we couldn’t continue down to lower falls. Great time to go not a lot of people!

hiking
5 months ago

Beginner hiker and in need of some conditioning so it was a little bit of a challenge for me. Some areas were snow covered so I took it a bit slower at points. It was fun to challenge myself and definitely worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

Loved it!

hiking
5 months ago

Easy loop hike with cool caves and unique petroglyphs and great views. Perfect if you only have a couple hours left in your day.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike with interesting historical features and beautiful views. Easy if you’re able-bodied, but lots of narrow, rocky stairs and two ladders that make this more challenging for people with joint issues, balance or coordination issues, or fear of heights. Our 70-year-old parents (not regular hikers) loved it but found it challenging.

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