Falls Trail

upper falls
Upper Falls

Photo by Sally King

The Falls Trail starts at the end of the Backpacker's Parking Lot near the visitor center. The trail descends 400 vertical feet in its 1.5 mile length to the Upper Falls. A beautiful trail in any season, this trail is not cleared of snow in the winter and can be extremely icy. There are steep dropoffs along the trail and plank bridges across the creek. Keep children close at all times and watch for wildlife. Take plenty of water. Water from the creek should not be drank without first treating it.


The Falls Trail used to lead another mile past Upper Falls to the Rio Grande. A major flash flood event in August, 2011 destroyed a portion of the trail leaving no safe access to areas beyond Upper Falls. This area is closed to all access from the Falls Trail..

damaged trail
The Falls Trail terminates at the Upper Falls.  The lower trail was destroyed by a flash flood event in August, 2011.

Photo by Sally King

upper falls before after
The flood event on August 21, 2011 scoured most of the vegetation from the base of Upper Falls.

photo by sally king

lower falls before after
Lower Falls was changed even more drastically by the flood event.  No vegetation remains and huge boulders were swept away.

Photos by sally king

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544


(505) 672-3861 x517
Visitor Center front desk

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