• western bluebirds

    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 »

Tsankawi

tsankawi trail

At Tsankawi you can hike the same trails used by the Ancestral Pueblo people.

NPS Photo by Sally King

The Tsankawi section of Bandelier National Monument is located on State Highway 4 twelve 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. Ladders are a required part of this trail. The trail is very exposed to the elements and should not be taken during localized thunderstorms. Cold, snowy weather can make the trail slippery so extra care should be taken when visiting in winter.

Unfortunately, Tsankawi is not the easiest place to find.

  • Coming from Santa Fe you'll turn from State Highway 502 to State Highway 4. Less than 1/4 of a mile past this turn Tsankawi will be located on the left hand side of the road. There are no signs for Tsankawi on Highway 4. If you get to the stoplight, you've gone too far. A large gravel parking area adjacent to the highway and a sign on the fence will indicate you've found the place.
  • Coming from Bandelier, Tsankawi is much easier to find. Just past the 3rd stoplight, the gravel parking lot for Tsankawi will be on your right-hand side.

Printable Los Alamos/White Rock Map with Tsankawi location indicated. (3.2 mb PDF)

 
view from Tsankawi
In addition to numerous archeological sites and petroglyphs, Tsankawi also has incredible views.
Photo by Sally King
 
horned lizard
Tsankawi's pinyon-juniper woodlands are home to short-horned lizards.  If encountered, feel free to watch/photograph them but please do not handle, touch, or collect these adorable reptiles.  This is their home.
photo by sally king

Did You Know?

Dog Petroglyph from Long House

The Ancestral Pueblo people carved petroglyphs into the soft tuff rock above many of the dwellings built along the cliffs.