Alcove House

alcove house
The climb into Alcove House consists of 4 wooden ladders and many stone stairs.

Photo by Sally King

Half way through the Main Loop Trail (Pueblo Loop Trail), a choice must be made; turn back toward the visitor center or continue another half mile each way (1 mile round trip) to Alcove House. Formerly known as Ceremonial Cave, this alcove is located 140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon. Once home to approximately 25 Ancestral Pueblo people, the elevated site is now reached by 4 wooden ladders and a number of stone stairs. In Alcove House, there is a reconstructed kiva and the viga holes and niches of former homes. Imagine climbing these ladders, carrying whatever supplies were needed, to this lofty home.

climbing alcove house ladder
Alcove House ladder

Photo by Sally King

The ladders, the stone stairs, and even the walkways to reach this Ancestral Pueblo site can be very icy and dangerous. In winters with abundant snowfall the ladders can be closed for many weeks. This climb is reopened as soon as it can be done safely. A sign at the base of the stairs will indicate if Alcove House is closed. Check at the visitor center for details
alcove house view
Although Alcove House ladders have reopened the structures have received damage.  Please obey all signs and stay within the roped off area to preserve this structure for future generations.

photo by Sally King

alcove house work 2020
The kiva at Alcove House remains closed in spring 2020.

Photo by Sally King

abert b
Abert's squirrels are amongst the types of wildlife you may see while hiking to Alcove House.

photo by sally king

alcove house panorama
The niche at Alcove House provided living quarters for about 25 Ancestral Pueblo people.  Homes were built in this high locale.

photo by sally king

view from alcove house niche
Most of the homes are gone from Alcove House but the kiva still stands, part is a reconstruction and part is original.

photo by sally king

Last updated: December 10, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road

Los Alamos, NM 87544


505 672-3861 x0

Contact Us