Things To Do
NPS Photo by Sally King
Most visitors begin their exploration of Bandelier with a walk on the Main Loop Trail. This short 1.2 mile loop trail starts from the Visitor Center and leads through excavated archeological sites on the floor of Frijoles Canyon. A portion of this trail is handicapped accessible.
Other trails in this area include the 3 mile round-trip Falls Trail to the beautiful Upper Falls and various trails of different lengths and difficulty leading up to the mesa tops.
The Tsankawi section of Bandelier National Monument is 12 miles from the main section of the park. At Tsankawi you take a 1.5 mile walk along a mesa, viewing cavates, petroglyphs and the Ancestral Pueblo village of Tsankawi. Climbing ladders is a required activity at this site.
For visitors looking for longer hikes, the Bandelier Backcountry offers countless opportunities for all day journeys and multiple-day overnight backpacking trips. Most of the 70 miles of trails are in the officially designated wilderness areas. Permits are required for overnight stays.
Be sure to join us for a Ranger Guided walk or talk to get the most out of your visit to Bandelier. Guided tours of the Main Loop Trail are offered almost everyday in summer. Evening campfire programs are offered on weekends in the summer. The popular Nightwalk, a silent walk in the the darkness of Frijoles Canyon, is offered once a week in the Summer; contact the Visitor Center for reservations.
Did You Know?
The Valles Caldera is the collapsed summit of the Jemez Volcano which erupted over 1 million years ago. Ash from this volcano formed the volcanic tuff from which the Ancestral Pueblo people built their homes.