Park open dawn to dusk all year
Current Visitor Center Hours 9 AM - 6 PM
Winter Visitor Center Hours 9 AM - 5 PM
Shuttle Bus Required May 16 - October 16, 2019
Visitors are required to take a shuttle bus from the White Rock visitor center to access the main visited area of Bandelier National Monument between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM, including the visitor center, Main Loop Trail, and Falls Trail. Shuttles run approximately every 30 minutes weekdays, and 20 minutes weekends. Last shuttle leaves the Frijoles Canyon Visitor Center at 5 PM.
You may drive directly to the monument and into Frijoles canyon if you meet the following exemptions:
It is before 9 AM or after 3 PM
Vehicles displaying a disability tag or plate
Vehicles with a pet on board (Please note: Pets are not allowed on ANY trails)
Juniper Campground access (A shuttle is still required into the canyon 9am to 3pm)
Overnight backpackers whose trip starts in Frijoles Canyon
If you have official park business
Unloading and loading of tour groups
The shuttle bus is free, however; a park entrance fee is required for Bandelier and can be purchased from the White Rock Visitor Center, the kiosk near the shuttle pick-up site in White Rock, or paid at the park visitor center upon arrival. See the shuttle schedule and map to the White Rock visitor center below.
Visitors may continue to drive into this main visited area of the park before 9 AM and after 3 PM daily (all access is by shuttle bus from 9 AM - 3 PM). For those early and late arrivals, be sure to display your park pass or entrance fee receipt in your vehicle. If you arrive before 9 AM you can drive out of the park at any time. You don't have to wait until after 3 PM. If you leave the park, you may not reenter the park except by shuttle bus between 9 AM and 3 PM. Last shuttle leaves the Frijoles Canyon Visitor Center at 5 PM.
You can still drive into a number of areas of the park any time of the day including Juniper Campground, Tsankawi, and to the many trails outside of Frijoles Canyon located along NM Highway 4. Remember the park closes at sunset, so plan to leave before that time.
Danger of Flash Flooding Remains High in All Park Canyons
When hiking, especially during the rainy season (July - Sept), visitors should remain extra vigilant when hiking in any of the park's canyons including Frijoles Canyon. The threat of flash flooding remains high. If a flash flood occurs one should not try to outrun the rising water but instead should head for higher ground. Under no circumstances should anyone try to cross a flooded creek. On September 13, 2013 Frijoes Creek experienced its biggest flashflood to date. Each flashflood event takes out all of the foot bridges that have been replaced following earlier such events. At any given time, some bridges may be missing as a result of high water events. All trails (except Falls Trail below Upper Falls) remain open but visitors are reminded to stay alert (especially in the afternoon) for signs for flooding. Please read the hand out "Your Safety in the Event of a Flood".
Summer weather in Bandelier is hot and dry in June then afternoon thunderstorms crop up in July and August. Bring plenty of water when hiking as well as a hat and sunscreen. Biting insects are uncommon so bug spray is not usually required. In late summer (July, August, and Sept) it is wise to begin a long hike early in the day before storms develop in the afternoon with heavy downpours, volumous hail, and dangerous lightning. Heavy rains can cause flashflooding in all the park canyons. Although this threat increased dramatically after the Las Conchas Fire in 2011 burned the upper watershed of the park canyons, the risk is slowly returning to normal as vegetation regrows. Watch for wildlife including black bear and rattlesnakes. Keep a safe distance of at least 50 yards.