The Main Loop Trail

ladder into cavate
Wooden ladders allow access to some of the cavates on the Main Loop Trail.

Photo by Sally King

The Main Loop Trail is a 1.2 mile loop trail (thanks to log crossings) through archeological sites. Most visitors spend between 45 minutes and one hour on this trail. Ladders along the trail allow visitors to climb into cavates (small human-carved alcoves). The Main Loop Trail takes you past the Big Kiva, Tyuonyi, Talus House, and Long House.

Pick up a $2 trail guide at the Visitor Center to learn more about the sites along the trail through descriptions of 21 numbered stops.

The first section of this trail is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; however, the second part contains areas with numerous narrow stone stairways. In winter, this is the only trail on which the snow is removed.

Map of Main Loop Trail (PDF)

cave kiva temporarily closed
Cave kiva is temporarily closed (April 2019) due to safety issues.  Two other Main Loop Trail cavates may still be entered using wooden ladders.

Photo by Sally King

The morning after a winter snow this trail may be closed for a few hours while staff remove the snow from the trail. A trail closure will be indicated by a sign at the start of the trail. Please obey closure signs. Walking on the snowy trail leaves dangerous ice that can remain for months. Check at the visitor center for details.
Cave Kiva is temporarily closed (April 2019) for safety reasons.
visitors with a trail guide
Don't forget to pick up a trail guide at the visitor center for $2.  They provide valuable information about trail highlights.

Photo by Sally King

man with baby on ladder
Due to stairs (and some fun ladders) a baby backpack or frontpack works better on this trail than a stroller.

Photo by Sally King

Last updated: April 23, 2019

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Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544


(505) 672-3861 x0

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