Access by Shuttle Bus Only
Through October 27, 2014 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 »
NPS Photo by Sally King
Eons ago when ancestral bats sought the shelter of darkness as protection from predators their future reputation as creatures of mystery and evil was born. Hampered by this reputation and numerous misconceptions, these flying mammals have encountered a new and even more dangerous enemy: MAN.
Thirteen species of bats live within Bandelier National Monument. The most commonly seen species is the Mexican Free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). Frequently a colony of these bats roosts in the cave above Long House on the Main Loop Trail. In 1986, about 10,000 Mexican free-tails and some little brown bats (Myotis yumanensis) moved in and continued to use the cave every summer until 2002.
photo by sally king
1. Big Brown Bat - Eptesicus fuscus
Did You Know?
Queen butterflies are often mistaken for Monarchs because they look so much alike. This is beneficial to the Queen, who is avoided by predators who fear this look-alike may be as toxic as the Monarch.