Looking for a great trail in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico? AllTrails has 14 great hiking trails, running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 7 easy trails in Bandelier National Monument ranging from 1.4 to 5.3 miles and from 6,049 to 8,946 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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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.

Easy and flat trail. I added this onto the Frey, Main Ruins Loop and Alcove House trails during a late July vacation. I got to the park early but this trail was hot without much shade by the time I got to it. Take water. I plan to go back for more hiking of other trails as this is a great park and location for hiking.

hiking
19 days ago

Great training trail for uphill and downhill hiking. Challenging but I think most people could manage it. Hot at the top and not much shade in July. I added this on and would love to revisit and hike more of Bandalier.

hiking
19 days ago

This is more for the archaeological ruins than a hiking experience but it was beautiful. I got there early in the day during a summer vacation as I read it gets very busy. I also did the Alcove House trail, Frey trail and another on top of the canyon as part of a training hike for a Grand Canyon rim to rim trail. I would love to go back to do more hiking of the other trails the park has.

hiking
19 days ago

Hiked this following the Main Loop trail through the ruins. I went as early as I could get into the park this summer and it was pretty quiet. Easy trail until you get to the ladders to get up to the alcove in the cliff side. A little intimidating to go down the ladders but they are secure. Very cool experience.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice views and interesting archeological spots. A little too short of a hike , just need less than 1 or 2.

hiking
icy
24 days ago

we did this the day after a snowfall. it was icy in some spots but the trail is carved out of rock in most places and it sort of holds you in. wonderful view of the sangre de Cristo and jemez mountain ranges. great little piece of history.

hiking
icy
24 days ago

we did the alcove house after the main loop. fun fairly easy pleasant walk. ladders securely fashioned. I'm often fearful of falling, but had no issue on this trail.

on Tsankawi Ruins Trail

hiking
fee
rocky
snow
28 days ago

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
icy
1 month ago

hiking
icy
snow
1 month ago

Had a ton of fun on this history rich trail. I managed to get through all the ladders and I'm usually apprehensive of falling and feel nervous near cliff sides and fins and certain scrambles - not a full fledged fear of heights though. Ladders seem securely affixed to the rockwall. Small part of the trail to the alcove house was icy (en route not up the ladders) you need to make sure you careful where you step. Also, if there has been a recent snow fall or ice build up they may close the final ascent up the ladders. Check the website for conditions as it has been snowing recently.

hiking
1 month ago

Very nice trail, easier than i'd usually do but obviously you're there for the archaeological site which was awesome. Was fun getting to go into some of the dwellings. So crazy how big the dwellings/city was. Must do if you're here.

hiking
1 month ago

If you're doing it as an add on you can do as we did and get to the mesa and then turn back to go back on the main loop. Love the views and that it made you work! We even saw a tarantula!

hiking
icy
1 month ago

We loved this hike, we did it as a combination with the main loop, frey trail up to the mesa, and the alcove loop. It was beautiful and I guess we lucked out with the waterfall which was flowing at the time we went (there was a recent snowfall and rain). Warning, the trail does get icy and is close to some drop offs so probably best to ask the rangers about the trail condition in the winter and be careful. We dealt with some patches of ice but where able to manage them pretty well.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an easy hike about 1.5 miles, and mature kid friendly (there are some higher elevations with drop offs that require small child supervision). The first 1/4 of the walk takes you through the scenic areas where you can look up at steep crevices and craggy rock formations. look hard and you will notice holes that appear to be windows. A little further down the trail will take you to an easy hike with rails up to archeological sites with ladders to ancient Pueblo Cliff Dwellings. You can climb, and crawl into the dwellings. The loop back is through a tree lined scenic area. Bathrooms, rangers, and gift shop are at the entrance.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views. Short hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike most days but do it at sunrise after a night when the Caldera fills up with fog if you want some unreal views that will take your breath away. It is also spectacularly beautiful after a good snow or frost.

hiking
2 months ago

Very cool the entire way especially if you’re not from the area. We were amazed by all the different rock formations. A nice easy hike to get used to the altitude if you’re traveling from sea level.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredibly cool! Only about a dozen people on the trail on a weekday in Nov. The ladders up to the house may feel intimidating but very well worth the view. Just take it step by step. :)

hiking
2 months ago

I would recommend the Frey trail tied into the Falls trail and Alcove House trail. I would rank this almost 10 mile combination moderate except for its length. The climb out of the canyon is the only significant elevation and it isn't too long. the trail provides excellent views of a desert riparian canyon with a large number of Ancestral Puebloan dwellings and storage buildings. To rate a hike I often ask myself and companions would I/we do it again - a strong yes.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely incredible!! So beautiful BUT be warned the last little bit to the house is four wooden ladders up but there was a small child that did it the same time we did so make your own decision. Definitely worth the drive out to.

Not a hike, but the cliff dwellings were great to see and climb into.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

I started this trail from Main Loop and climb up was little difficult but short. Trail provides great views of canyon, storage buildings and pueblo dwellings.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail on a nice fall day. Disappointed that access to the lower fall is no longer available and probably never will be. Today most of the creek was dry as was the fall.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike along a historic area, beautiful scenery too. Not to busy in early October.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with great views of Caldera and Los Alamos! Meadow was beautiful and hike was hard due to elevation as long as you are in decent/good shape

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