young elk
Elk move from higher elevations through the park to lower elevations.

photo by sally king

Cold, gray or snowy days are not uncommon but neither are warm sunny days. Dramatic changes in weather can happen quickly. Sandhill Cranes can be heard flying overhead as they head south for the winter. Trees have lost their leaves. Animals that are active year-round can still be seen along park trails or the entrance road. Those that hibernate won't be seen again until spring. Elk head for lower elevations and may be seen on the entrance road. Visitation is usually low except on the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. By mid-month the fees are collected in the visitor center instead of the entrance station.
northern pygmy owl
This Northern Pygmy Owl was a recent visitor to Cottonwood Picnic Area just across Frijoles Creek from the visitor center.

photo by sally king

November started warm and sunny but now temps are much cooler and more seasonable. Although there have been a few days with snow in the air, and even a bit on the ground, there is no snow currently on the ground near the visitor center and main trail. Coyotes, chipmunks, and Abert's Squirrels have been active on the Main Loop Trail. Elk and mule deer have been seen on the mesatops. Sandhill Cranes have been passing over on a regular basis heading south for the winter. Visitation has picked up as Thanksgiving approaches. The park is open Thanksgiving day and may be busy.
bull elk
Even large bull elk can be seen in the park during late fall and winter.

photo by sally king

Last updated: March 31, 2012

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Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544


(505) 672-3861 x517

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