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“Late Afternoon Walk Back in Time”

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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
147 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Late Afternoon Walk Back in Time”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

Besides the awesome drive in, viewing the film at the park site itself (not at the in-town shuttle origin visitor's center is a must...one of the best National Park Service films we've seen. The Park Rangers are very friendly and knowledgeable. We arrived at 4 PM. Visitor center closes at 4:30, but we had time to view the film. After 3 PM, you can drive to the park visitor's center, rather than take the free shuttle. There is a park fee if you drive in. The Main Trail walk, and the two half-mile each extensions to the Long House and the Alcove are must sees. With less other visitors in late afternoon, and much cooler than durning the heat of day, we had lots of quiet time to imagine, literally, what life was almost a thousand years ago living in this scenic valley gorge in the cool building-caves along the cliff walls. This visit was a great complement to the currently occupied Sky City Pueblo, where the cliff dwellers, for reasons unknown, migrated to. One can only wonder what led these people out of the stream fed canyons to the arid high Mesa pueblo without water.

Visited September 2013
Thank Jim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
73 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Better than we imagined”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

I think the main trail was just over a mile. You can add another mile to that by taking the trail to the Alcove house. There are other trails and things to see, but we thought this was great. They had experienced some flash floods a short while before we went, requiring us to be bussed in because the parking lot was washed out. This was a little inconvenient, but it was free and the bus driver didn't get lost ; ) The Pueblos and cave dwellings were really great. We had limited time this trip so we were in and out of there in a couple of hours. It's nice that you can whip through or spend the day. Leave the strollers and wheelchairs at home.

Visited September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Get ready to climb”
Reviewed September 5, 2013

We visited this the days after we went to Pecos National Historical Park. The two are incredibly complementary experiences--both Pueblo, but different environments resulting in different structures. The park has a self-guided booklet that explains the structures--connecting them to the environment and the history of the people. Take your camera, a bottle of water, and shoes that are good for climbing ladders to cavelike rooms in the cliffs. And you walk back along the stream under the trees. Then get a snack and drink while you check out the gift shop.

Visited September 2013
Thank Dale W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colden, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 4, 2013

From Whiterock you pick up the shuttle which leaves every 20 minutes from the visitor center. Thank goodness for the shuttle, since the road is steep and windy into the park. It is a beautiful and informative walk thru the valley. Getting to climb ladders and view the cave dwellings. We were lucky they had reopened parts of the trail and Alcove House, since they had flooding a couple of weeks before. Almost all the bridges are washed out and you have to cross the shallow creek. The Alcove House is a 140 foot vertical climb, I made it half way up, but since I am not good with heights, those steep ladders stopped me. But we saw petroglyphs on the rock walls. We spent about 3-4 hours there. Nice selection of Native American jewelry at the gift shop, also excellent soft serve ice cream. Beautiful view driving back to Santa Fe.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank bernice m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Courtice, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Truly amazing.”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We were fortunate to have a tour guide who was well versed in the history, botany and geology of the area. Be prepared with sturdy shoes, sun screen, a hat and some water.
The caves are awe inspiring, it seems if you close your eyes you can feel yourself living in those times.
There is some climbing involved, but the ladders are strong and some are not very high.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Claire422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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