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    Bandelier

    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 »

The Main Loop Trail

cavate

Wooden ladders allow access to some of the cavates on the Main Loop Trail.

Photo by Sally King

The Main Loop Trail is a 1.2 mile loop trail (thanks to log crossings put in by our trail crew to replace bridges lost in last summer's floods) through archeological sites. Most visitors spend between 45 minutes and one hour on this trail. Ladders along the trail allow visitors to climb into cavates (small human-carved alcoves). The Main Loop Trail takes you past the Big Kiva, Tyuonyi, Talus House, and Long House.

Pick up a $1 trail guide at the Visitor Center to learn more about the sites along the trail through descriptions of 21 numbered stops. View this guide, for free, online..

The first section of this trail is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; however, the second part contains areas with numerous narrow stone stairways. In winter, this is the only trail on which the snow is removed.

Map of Main Loop Trail (PDF)

 
new bridge
The park trail crew recently replaced bridges on the Main Loop Trail that had been missing since the flooding last summer.  These log crossings keep visitor's feet dry while not posing a problem if they wash away in this summer's expected floods.
photo by sally king
 
talus house with snow

The Main Loop Trail may be closed for a short while after a winter snow while staff clears trails.

Photo by Sally King

WINTER CLOSURE
The morning after a winter snow this trail may be closed for a few hours while staff remove the snow from the trail. A trail closure will be indicated by a sign at the start of the trail. Please obey closure signs. Walking on the snowy trail leaves dangerous ice that can remain for months. Check at the visitor center for details.
 
visitors with a trail guide
Don't forget to pick up a trail guide at the visitor center for $1.  They provide valuable information about trail highlights.
Photo by Sally King
 
man and child on ladder
Due to stairs (and some fun ladders) a baby backpack or frontpack works better on this trail than a stroller.
Photo by Sally King

Did You Know?

Upper Falls

Frijoles Creek drops approximately 80 feet over the Upper Falls. The falls occur where the waters of Frijoles Creek hit the more resistant, dense basalt rock from the neck of an ancient volcano.