The Ultimate Guide to Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument

New Mexico
Bandelier National Monument | Bandelier National Monument Travel Guide

Bandelier National Monument preserves a gorgeous canyon with evidence of human presence going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs (ancient rock carvings/drawings), houses carved into the soft rock cliffs, and masonry pueblos (villages) are evidence of the Ancestral Pueblo people. There is a lot to explore and see, an educational museum, several hiking trails – short & long, and campsites.

open days and time

Timing: 9 AM – 5 PM

Closed: Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year’s Day (January 1)


Address: 15 Entrance RD, Los Alamos, NM 87544

Parking/Entry fee: $25 entrance fee includes all persons traveling in a single private vehicle.

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Park Trails

Bandelier National Monument | Bandelier National Monument Travel Guide

Bandelier National Monument is enormous, consists of several acres of beautiful canyon land and many hiking trails. Below I have categorized the trails as short and long based on length and difficulty level of the trails.

Short & Easy-Moderate: (1) Main Loop Trail, my favorite, is the best way to cover a lot in a short time. I recommended this trail for families with young kids, (2) Alcove House, (3) Tsankawi, (4) Falls Trail, (5) Frey Trail, (6) Frijolito Loop Trail, (7) Tyuonyi Overlook Trail, (8) Burnt Mesa Trail, (9) Cerro Grande Route, (10) Alamo Boundary Trail.

Longer & Moderate-strenuous: (1) Frijoles Rim and Canyon Trail, (2) Yapahsi Pueblo, and (3) Painted Cavea

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My Recommendation

Bandelier National Monument | Bandelier National Monument Travel Guide

I would recommend starting with the Main Loop Trail, one of the short & easy hiking trails, about 1.2-miles loop starting at the visitor center, takes around 45 minutes – 1 hour. There are ladders along the trail that allow visitors to climb into caves. The Main Loop Trail takes you past the Big Kiva which used to be a public meeting place, Tyuonyi a two-stories tall with over 400 rooms used for storing food, Talus House a house built from rock debris at the bottom of the cliff, and the Long House homes built along the base of the cliff. 

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Wildlife Encounter

Bandelier National Monument Wildlife Encounter | Bandelier National Monument Travel Guide

You may very well encounter anything from mule deer to mountain lions, and even big-horned sheep.

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Bandelier national monument | New Mexico Travel GuideI hope you enjoyed reading the post, Bandelier National Monument, and I expect this will help you plan your trip to the Bandelier National Monument.

Happy feeding your soul!

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