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 »
Science and Resource Management Blog Pg 2
July 2012 A Mesa of Change
The ecology group has recently undertaken an effort to precisely map 1,000s of trees in the piñon-juniper woodlands of Bandelier. Using sophisticated GPS technology and a laser rangefinder we are able to map the trees with an accuracy of 15cm. This is 30x more accurate than a normal handheld GPS unit. The piñon-juniper woodland has seen significant changes in its species composition since the establishment of Bandelier National Monument. When the monument was first established ponderosa pine extended much further down the mesas than it does today. In the 1950s a mega-drought effected the southwest, during which much of the area experienced dry conditions not seen since the late 1500s. During the drought most of the lower elevation ponderosa on the mesas died. You can still see many of the dead pines as big old logs on the ground as you walk down the burro trail. Occasionally you will even see a tall standing ponderosa carcass. But for the most part ponderosas are now only able to survive in the wetter drainage bottoms, not on the drier lower mesas.
During the experimental stages of the ecological restoration in the early 2000s another drought hit the
Did You Know?
The Ancestral Pueblo people carved petroglyphs into the soft tuff rock above many of the dwellings built along the cliffs.