Access by Shuttle Bus Only
Starting May 24, 2013 all access to the most visited part of the park, Frijoles Canyon, will be via a mandatory shuttle bus from the nearby community of White Rock from 9 AM - 3 PM daily. Private cars may drive in before 9 AM or after 3 PM. More »
Alcove House Closed
Alcove House, with its 140 ft climb on stairs and ladders, is closed to all visitor access from June 10 to August 22, 2013 while important stabalization work is done on the Alcove House kiva. More »
Fire Restrictions in Place
Due to high fire danger, starting June 5, 2013, smoking will be allowed only in designated areas. No open fires will be allowed anywhere in the park. Self-contained stoves only at the campground or backcountry camping. No fireworks.
History & Culture
NPS Photo by Sally King
Bandelier's human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons. By 1150 CE Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park as are the strong ties of the modern Pueblo people. By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo).
In the mid-1700's Spanish settlers with Spanish land grants made their homes in Frijoles Canyon. In 1880 Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier to Frijoles Canyon. Montoya offered to show Bandelier his people's ancestral homelands.
In 1916 legislation to create Bandelier National Monument was signed by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1925 Evelyn Frey and her husband, George, arrived to take over the Ranch of the 10 Elders that had been built by Judge Abbott in 1907. Between 1934 and 1941 workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked from a camp constructed in Frijoles Canyon. Among their accomplishments is the road into Frijoles Canyon, the current visitor center, a new lodge, and miles of trails. For several years during World War II the park was closed to the public and the Bandelier lodge was used to house Manhattan Project scientists and military personnel.
Click here for Bandelier's Adminstrative History.
Did You Know?
A drink that tastes a lot like lemonade can be made from the berries of the Three-leaf Sumac. From this, the bush gets its common name, the Lemonade Bush.