Tsankawi Ruins Trail

EASY 70 reviews

Tsankawi Ruins Trail is a 1.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Santa Fe, New Mexico that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

1.7 miles
232 feet

kid friendly



nature trips




wild flowers

no dogs

Tsankawi Ruin, part of the Bandelier National Monument, is a 2.5 mile loop trail located near Los Alamos, New Mexico and is good for most skill level. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. There are some Kiva Ladders that must be climbed. Rocky trail mostly. Much of it over tuff (compressed volcanic ash). Tuff is very fragile, so please be careful to protect. There is Sandstone too and much of the lower loop is rocky. There are two Kiva Ladders on the trail. One about 10 feet and the other maybe 20 ft.

14 days 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.

20 days 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.

21 days ago

One of my favorite places. Arriving at the end of the day caused my hike to be limited. The archeological aspect is awe-inspiring. Very rocky, a little incline getting up to the pueblos. i am in moderate shape, and thought it was taxing going up to the cliff. However, take your time, as it is definitely worth it.

22 days ago

It was a easy hike and the views were amazing!

1 month ago

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

2 months 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.

2 months ago

A little archeological gem. And one of my favorite hikes in the Los Alamos/White Rock area. The hike includes a couple of ladders, and you can pick up a pamphlet at the trailhead for a $1 donation. The views of the surrounding mesas and valleys are beautiful. I would advise wearing shoes with traction for the sandy soil, but the hike itself is easy and relaxing. It’s very exposed so wear sunblock, a hat, and bring water. It is part of Bandelier Natl Monument, so leave your dogs at home for this one.

2 months ago

Beaitiful hike at Bandelier with historic settlements/living quarters and pictographs to view.

5 months ago

Nice trial, good walk, rock stairs

5 months ago

great views of the mesas!

6 months ago

Cool ruins, $20 parking was unexpected.

7 months ago

Very cool ruins. Enjoyed with the kids.

7 months ago


11 months ago

The trail should be rated moderate due to the narrow trench you need to navigate on the return loop.
Also, trail running is not a viable option for the same reason.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

What a lovely hiking spot! Much nicer than the sites that charge $20 a person! Great panoramic views!! A beautiful spot!!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

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.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

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

Monday, October 03, 2016

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

Saturday, September 24, 2016

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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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.

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