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“Not a challenging hike, but quite interesting”

Bandelier National Monument
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Bandelier National Monument from Santa Fe
Ranked #1 of 25 things to do in Los Alamos
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Bandelier National Monument is 50 square miles of the Pajarito Plateau, on the slopes of the Jemez Volcanic field in the Jemez Mountains. Over 70% of the Monument is Wilderness, with over 1 mile elevation change, from about 5000' along the Rio Grande to over 10,000' at the rim of the Valles Caldera, providing for a wide range of life zones and wildlife habitat. There are only 3 miles of road, but over 70 miles of hiking trails. The Monument, founded in 1916, protects Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites, a beautiful landscape, and the country's largest Civilian Conservation Corps National Landmark District.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not a challenging hike, but quite interesting”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Note that, due to recent (Summer 2011) fire and flood damage in the area, access to the more popular sections of Bandelier (e.g., the Main Loop Trail and Alcove House) requires a short shuttle ride from the nearly community of White Rock. The hike around the Main Loop is well worth it, however. If you are physically able to climb up and down ladders (and are not afraid of heights), do take the time to visit the Alcove House, as well. Watch your footing if you do, however. The loose sand on stone steps can be slippery; one hiker slipped and broke her wrist while I was visiting.

Visited October 2012
Thank DCWayfarer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,466 reviews from our community

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Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great Attraction!”
Reviewed October 9, 2012

I was with my husband and parents and thought this was a great way to spend a few hours. It has a great trail and interesting views that you cannot get from the road. It was amazing to see how people lived so long ago. There was a nice shop with information on the monument and knowledgeable staff. There are also restrooms here. When we were there some of the trails were closed due to a recent fire.

Thank Autumn0281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great hike and history”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

The Main Loop trail at Bandelier is not very difficult for most people and spread out, especially if you include the level hike to the Alcove House. On the first part of the trail, you can walk right by the dwellings in the cliff and climb short ladders into some of them. The Alcove House is another half mile on level ground.Once at the Alcove House, you have to climb 4 ladders with stone steps in between, but even an older gentleman who was afraid of heights managed to go up and down. Unfortunately, we did not have time to do the Tsankawi part of Bandelier, so I cannot comment on that. And for those who don't know, just 3 days before we were there, a very nice new visitor center was opened in White Rock, so that is where the shuttle is leaving from now. Just follow the signs.
We were there on a very nice day at the end of September, and there was no problem getting over the creeks to Alcove House.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank SanDiegoCoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granite Bay, CA
Level Contributor
130 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Great access to cliff dwellings”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Bandelier has created a wonderful access to the cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people. The basic main trail takes you to several dwellings which can be entered via short natural ladders. This trail is mostly paved but does have stairs, up hill climbs, and ladders. The more challenging Alcove House requires climbing 140 feet up four ladders. Awesome if not afraid of heights and feel comfortable making the climb. The trail guide is worth the $1. Also the shuttle service to/from White Rock went smoothly.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Ro11WithIt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
143 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Very interesting Indian culture”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

We did a guided walk with one of the National Park rangers. He was very interesting and knew a lot of the history of the Indian ruins. These have been very well preserved and it was a nice walk up to the dwellings. We went on to the ruins further down the trail, but it was difficult to get across the winding streams without ending up in the water. The bigger dwellings required up and down ladders, some as much as 50 feet tall, and I did not feel comfortable with that, so we didn't do those.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Judy97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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