Explore the most popular trails near Santo Domingo Pueblo with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico Map
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such a fun hike with great views of the mountain landscape. I would highly recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

How amazing to experience the old cave dwellings of the native cultures! I enjoyed climbing the ladders and letting out my inner child! Great walk for kids too.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy but very interesting trail with many small cliff homes to explore. The Alcove ladders are long a steep but very safe and well worth the climb. Fun and interesting walk.

hiking
2 months ago

As a chubby out-of-shape 30 something, I was a bit nervous to climb all the ladders up to the Alcove House, but I'm glad I did. It gave me and arm and leg workout and it definitely was scary at times, particularly when going down the ladders. But it was worth it to say that I did it and enjoy the view at the top.

Stop by the cave dwellings on the way to the Alcove trail, which are fun to climb into and sit inside.

Must wear a hat on this trail. There is little shade.

This trail is definitely more enjoyable on a cooler or cloudy day. The first part of my hike was 90 degrees and sunny, and even this Texan was hot! Got cloudy and was much more enjoyable. Good for all activity levels as long as you take some breaks after the stairs up to the caves. The Kids I saw liked climbing inside! Get the guide that tells you what all the markers mean.

This trail (along with Main Loop) are definitely more enjoyable on a cooler or cloudy day. The first part of my hike was 90 degrees and sunny, and even this Texan was hot! Got cloudy and was much more enjoyable. Views from the top are great. Some of the paths in between ladders are fairly narrow, which would make it slow going on a crowded day.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail is actually a 1 mile (there and back) add-on option to the Main Loop Trail. Most of this very easy walk is forested with lots of downed trees and debris alongside the path. The difficulty level changes dramatically once you arrive at the foot of the ladders to the alcove house itself. These ladders are not for the faint of heart and in the late afternoon, when the sun is low, the rungs are BURNING hot. That aside, it’s an exciting 140-foot climb, with incredible views from the top. Well worth it and a must do. Even for those with kids. However, when we went (a Wednesday in August), this trail was empty and I suspect that when crowded the waits in the ladders section as others climb and descend would be miserable.

hiking
3 months ago

Most of this trail is an easy walk that takes you past much of the ancient Pueblo hiding that was built a millennium ago in this canyon. There are a few places where you can explore the caves built into the canyon walls. These areas are accessed by tight stairs and a few ladders. Great fun for young kids.

hiking
3 months ago

Take the Bandelier shuttle and get off at the first stop (Not the visitors center) to easily access this wonderful hike down into the canyon. Very flat for the first half, but then opens up into beautiful vistas and tight twists and turns as you descend. Very little shade so be prepared for that. Young kids handled it with no problems. Frey ends at the Main Loop Trail where you have the option to continue on, or take a short walk towards the Bandelier Visitors Center.

Easy trail with lots to see where the cave dwellings are. The climb to Alcove House is really worth it if you are in decent shape... and if you don’t mind heights. It can be pretty freaky climbing down those ladders. The ladders are solid, but there’s no room for error.

If you are going to be in Bandelier, you have to do this trail. The ladders are very secure but be warned, while going up is tiring going down is just as exhaustive!

walking
5 months ago

Great history and experience. Not the best hiking, but the views and information are pretty great. Go before 9 or after 3 and you can skip the shuttle and dump of people when you get there.

hiking
5 months ago

Super easy. Went at about 5pm and it was pretty quiet. The alcove trail is definitely worth the detour. If you go in the afternoon, the left side of the main loop has a lot more shade than the right side with the cave dwellings, so I regret not taking the left part first.

hiking
5 months ago

Super easy, basically just a nature walk. The ladders were cool, but 140 feet sounds higher than it actually is. Saw a lot of wildlife and cool plants and trees. Went late in the day, at about 5, and it was pretty warm, but at about 6:30 it’s significantly better (they close at 8, though). The main loop trail to the left has way more shade than to the right, though, so if I were doing it at 5pm again, I’d go left on the main loop to go out to alcove then finish the other half of the main loop with the smaller ladders and Pueblo stuff on the way back.

hiking
5 months ago

Following severe fires and floods in the past decade, this hike is much more difficult than typically described. The trail down to the canyon is broad, well-defined, easy to follow, and not especially difficult. The trail in the canyon, however, is nonexistent. It has either been physically eroded away by the flooding, or is covered by debris left along the floodplains of the small creek. Getting up through the canyon to the outbound route involves scrambling over log jams and boulders, and picking through a lot of scrub. There is very little shade, as the fires decimated the stands of trees that used to be along the canyon floor (hence all the log jams). On the bright side, the creek seems to be perennial, so bring a filter and you'll have nice cool (if slightly funky tasting) water for the difficult section.

The hike out of the canyon was a bit of a pain, as the lower switchbacks were eroded away, so you'll need to find your way to where the trail becomes well defined again higher up the slope. The last mile of the hike or so is a nice gentle grade up to the parking area.

If you're interested in getting down into the canyon, there's an old guard station at the bottom right before the trail turns gnarly. Popping down to check that out and then heading back would be pretty easy.

For reference, I'm in my early 20's, athletic build, and I'm a geologist so I'm used to lots of hiking in arid environments, and this trail still kicked my butt.

hiking
6 months 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.

hiking
7 months 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months 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.

7 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.

hiking
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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.

hiking
8 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
9 months ago

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

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
10 months ago

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

walking
10 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.

hiking
10 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
11 months ago

Loved it!

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