Bandelier National Monument is an amazing historical sight to see. Within an hour of Santa Fe and about 1 ½ to Albuquerque it is well worth the visit. We ended up taking the backway to go through the different Pueblo towns and seeing the land. One you get to Bandelier it is $12 per car. There are a variety of different hiking trails you can pick but the main one is about 1 mile, (2 for the more extensive housing) and they recommend about an hour per mile. At first as a young adult I laughed at that but after we left just over 2 hours later I realized how right they were. The main loop is relatively easy. There are some steep steps though and anyone with footing trouble should probably pass. Also if you are able be sure to go into the little housing areas you are allowed to go into. They are pretty cool on the inside and each one is incredibly different. Once finished with those you can either head back to the lodge/visitor center or go into the other ‘housing’ area. We decided to trek out to the other area after hearing how amazing it is. I consider myself somewhat in shape, okay, well slightly in shape, but this is a bit of a hike. We went from being freezing cold to being festering hot and back again. If you do this hike during the winter try to go in the morning so that the sun is shining as much as possible. Also, although we did see other kids try to keep kids under 5-6 out. It was a little scary seeing some of them climbing up and being on top of the area. After about a half mile hike through a riverbed basically (someone had fallen as well and needed medical help because of the ice) we made it. Now up 140 feet of climbing basically straight up. There were about 4 scary looking ladders and many spots where really only one person could walk. It wasn’t that bad but it was a busy day and there were many kids up there. And really, getting up isn’t the bad part. It is having to back down all of those ladders that is the scary part. Overall the view is amazing. Seeing the house was awesome as well. And it was a bit of a work out. Make sure you leave plenty of time and enjoy it!
Oh and last of all, bring a snack! And water. Lots of water! (they charge an arm and a leg for both!)