• Long House in autumn


    National Monument New Mexico

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  • 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 »

Canyon Riparian Areas

Upper Frijoles Creek

The availability of water makes the riparian areas places with a great diversity of life.

Photo by Dale Coker

Creek-side environments, called riparian zones, are particularly rich areas due to the availability of water. Lush shrubbery and overhanging deciduous cottonwood and alder trees provide food, precious shade, and habitat for insects, amphibians, and small mammals. these in turn attract predators - rattlesnakes, birds, coyotes, and bobcats.

The Ancestral Pueblo people knew the value of these places as sources of both food and water. These areas may be seen as ribbons of bright green along the canyon bottoms.

male Western Tanager
The riparian zone boasts the greatest diversity of life within the park.
Photo by Sally King
garter snake
Did you know that garter snakes can swim?  They find food plentiful in the riparian zone.
Photo by Sally King

Did You Know?

Aspen fall color

All the aspens in a cluster will change colors at approximately the same time. That's because in a grouping of aspens, most are clones that grew as root sprouts from the original plant.