Tsankawi trail
At Tsankawi you can hike the same trails used by the Ancestral Pueblo people.

Photo by Sally King

Take a virtual tour of Tsankawi before you go and see what this trail is like or here's a virtual trail guide for Tsankawi.

The Tsankawi section of Bandelier National Monument is located on State Highway 4 twelve miles from the main section of the park. At Tsankawi you take a 1.5 mile walk along a mesa, viewing cavates, petroglyphs and the Ancestral Pueblo village of Tsankawi. Ladders are a required part of this trail. The trail is very exposed to the elements and should not be taken during localized thunderstorms. Cold, snowy weather can make the trail slippery so extra care should be taken when visiting in winter.

Unfortunately, Tsankawi is not the easiest place to find.

  • Coming from Santa Fe you'll turn from State Highway 502 to State Highway 4. Less than 1/4 of a mile past this turn Tsankawi will be located on the left hand side of the road. There are no signs for Tsankawi on Highway 4. If you get to the stoplight, you've gone too far. A large gravel parking area adjacent to the highway and a sign on the fence will indicate you've found the place.
  • Coming from Bandelier, Tsankawi is much easier to find. Just past the 3rd stoplight, the gravel parking lot for Tsankawi will be on your right-hand side.

Printable Los Alamos/White Rock Map with Tsankawi location indicated. (3.2 mb PDF)

tsankawi ladder
Ladders are a required part of the trail at Tsankawi.

Photo by Sally King

Tsankawi has gorgeous views looking in all directions.  This is an image looking towards the Jemez Mountains and Los Alamos.

photo by Sally King

horned lizard
Tsankawi's pinyon-juniper woodlands are home to short-horned lizards.  If encountered, feel free to watch/photograph them but please do not handle, touch, or collect these adorable reptiles.  This is their home.

photo by sally king

The trail at Tsankawi includes narrow trenches and ladders.  It is not a hike recommended for people with a great fear of heights.

photo by Sally King

tsankawi village
The village of Tsankawi is located on top of the mesa and has incredible views.

photo by Sally King

tsankawi afternoon
The trail at Tsankawi is very exposed to the elements.  It is best to chose a day without thunderstorms to visit.

photo by Sally King

Last updated: May 24, 2024

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Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road

Los Alamos, NM 87544


505 672-3861 x0

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