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 »
Cerro Grande Route
Photo by Sally King
The Cerro Grande Route winds its way up to the highest point in the park, Cerro Grande Peak (10,199 ft). The preferred route is marked by yellow diamonds and is fairly steep. Two miles each way (4 mi round trip) this route passes through the mixed conifer forest and is an excellent place to see wildflowers in mid to late summer. The view from the summit of the Valles Caldera and lower Bandelier is also quite spectacular. Remember, as this trail is begins at high elevation and ends at even higher elevation snow may be present through many of the seasons. In late summer, thunderstorms can pose a serious threat. Before hiking be sure you are prepared. There is no water available along this route.
Did You Know?
Western Pygmy Blue butterflies are the smallest butterflies in North America. They have wingspans of just .5 to .6 inches.