If you’re following my New Mexico adventures, I’ve mentioned that, while New Mexico attractions are noteworthy, they are not always in close proximity to each other. Leaving Las Cruces, NM, we headed north to the Bandelier National Monument. The Bandelier National Monument is located near Los Alamos, NM and is the home of an Ancestral Pueblo archeological site. While there are only 3 miles of road, there are 70 miles of hiking trails. The terrain is ruggedly beautiful and you are able to hike around the archeological site, seeing and reading first hand how the Pueblo lived. The Park is open dawn to dusk every day. While the National Park Service (NPS) website states that “Park Entry By Shuttle Bus Only”, we arrived to the Visitor Center and found out that before 9 a.m. and after 3 p.m., you can take your own car up to the Main Area. Thankfully, we arrived after 3 p.m. and in just a few minutes we were parked and entering the second Visitor Center to receive information regarding the hiking loops. The single day permit entry fee is $10 per person or $20 per non-commercial vehicle.
There are several trails and each has their own level of difficulty. Click here to read about the loops and determine what you are able to accomplish. The Main Loop trail has ruins, petroglyphs and cliff dwellings of the Pueblo and is just over a mile. But don’t be deceived, the valley where these cliffs are located can get very hot and you need to make sure you have ample water, a hat and sunscreen. The sunlight bounces off of the volcanic tuff so I would recommend sunglasses also. The Main Loop is well marked and the path is clear so those who don’t have difficulty walking or ascending and descending stairs should find the loop to be moderately easy. If you want access to see the cliff dwellings, you need to be able to climb up and down ladders. There are also several stairways linking the cliff dwellings. All in all, the main loop can be done in about an hour, depending on how many stops you actually make.
If you go to The Bandelier National Monument, let them know that Travel and Table sent you!
For more of my New Mexico adventures, read about Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands National Monument, the Zuhl Museum, Frontier Restaurant , Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chili Line Depot, Orlando’s New Mexican Cafe, and Habaneros Fresh Mexican Food.
Until we meet again…