Visiting Bandelier Fall/Winter 2020 and Spring 2021

cloudy sunset moon
Don't let the short days catch you unaware.  Be sure to leave the park before dark.

photo by sally king

Be Sure to Check for Any Covid Related Closures Here
Winter/Spring Visitor Center Hours 9 AM - 4:30 PM
Visitor Center Closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day and closes at 2 PM on Thanksgiving Day
Park Trails Open Dawn to Dusk 365 Days/Year

For part of the year, much of Bandelier is accessible only by a shuttle bus from White Rock. This isn't true in the late fall, winter, and spring. From mid October until mid May visitors can once again access Frijoles Canyon, the park visitor center, and the main archeological sites using their personal vehicle. Visitors can visit Frijoles Canyon from sunrise to sunset. Just be sure to leave before it's dark.

tyuonyi in autumn
The village of Tyuonyi in autumn.

photo by sally king


October is usually the best time for fall color and the days are warm while the nights are cool to downright cold. The first snow of the season near the visitor center often happens around Halloween with earlier snow in the park's high country. Migrating cranes can be heard flying norh overhead and wandering male tarantulas may be encountered as they search for love.
snowy frijoles canyon 2
Snow is important to keeping Bandelier beautiful.

photo by sally king

Frijoles Canyon gets an average of 25" of snow per season. The mesas get twice that and the highest elevations in the park can get even more snow. If you arrive in Bandelier just after a snow event the Main Loop Trail will be closed to visitors until staff can clear it of snow. Walking on the snow creates ice that continues to be a safety hazard for months. If it has just snowed you may want to sleep in and arrive a bit later to Bandelier. If you come early (after 9 AM but before the snow is cleared) we will let you wait near the fireplace in the visitor center. If it snows enough, the park may even be closed. Call (505)672-3861 X 0 before you leave home to make sure the park is open. Hurray for snowy days. They provide more than half the annual precipitation for most areas of the park. This moisutre is neccessary for Bandelier to stay the beautiful and unique place that it is.

frijoles canyon in winter b
Snow can actually accentuate the forms of the archeological sites.

photo by sally king

Snow can make Bandelier even more special. A dusting, or even a dump, of snow acts to highlight the dwellings. The sun can sparkle like minature diamonds off the ice crystals in the trees. Hairy-earred Abert's squirrels are more active and far more likely to be seen. Be careful walking under trees soon after a snowfall. Snow may dump on you. If you come dressed for the weather conditions you can have an amazing visit to Bandelier in the winter.

More information on some popular trails:
Main Loop Trail
Alcove House
Falls Trail

Download a slide show about the Main Loop Trail and Alcove House (25mb)

visitor snow shoer 4
Winter is not just beautiful.  There are some activities that can only occur in winter.

photo by sally king

excellent aberts
Abert's Squirrels are often very active in the winter.

photo by sally king

Last updated: November 24, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos , NM 87544


505 672-3861 x0

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