News Release

Bandelier National Monument: This month’s National Park Getaway

Two visitors peering inside a Pueblo structure
Talus House was reconstructed in 1920 to offer a glimpse into the life of the Ancient Pueblo people of northern New Mexico.

NPS Photo

News Release Date: March 1, 2017

Contact: Chris Judson, 505-672-3861 x517

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. – In 1880, Adolph Bandelier arrived in the New Mexico Territory to document the culture of the Pueblo people and their ancestors. Traveling up the Rio Grande and through sheer-walled canyons, he emerged on the rim of Frijoles Canyon and looked down on the remains of ancestral Pueblo dwellings. In his diary Bandelier wrote that it was “the grandest thing I ever saw.” In 1916, two years after Bandelier’s death, President Woodrow Wilson established Bandelier National Monument, preserving that canyon and more than 50 square miles of mesa and canyon country around it for future generations.

Today Bandelier National Monument is known for a distinctive landscape: a wide plateau composed of tuff, volcanic ash hundreds of feet thick deposited by two gargantuan eruptions of the Jemez Volcano. Archeologists have documented more than 3,000 archeological sites across its mesas and canyons. The story of people in the area dates back to small bands of hunter-gatherers who passed through the area thousands of years ago. During the 1100s, Ancestral Puebloans settled in cliffside homes and farmed the land for generations. In the 1500s, they moved to nearby locations where their descendants live today. The human story continues with the Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees who built the handsome stone park headquarters buildings in the 1930s, and now the 200,000 visitors who come to the park each year. Read more

The National Park Getaways series helps people find new places to connect with nature, history, family, and friends. This month’s Getaway featuring Bandelier National Monument is the 267th installment in the series.

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Last updated: March 1, 2017

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