New Mexico is full of spectacular National Park Sites featuring ancient Puebloan Ruins. Just take a look at Petroglyph National Monument, Aztec Ruins National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Bandelier is just as impressive and offers visitors a chance to get up close to some remarkable Puebloan structures and dwellings built right into the walls of Frijoles Canyon. In addition to learning about its rich history, the park also offers visitors a chance to camp, hike, and even boat along the Rio Grande River. We loved our visit to this park, and it’s just a short drive from Santa Fe.
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Bandelier National Monument in Pictures
This National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of ancient culture and helps reconstruct the story of the people who lived here 10,000 years ago. By 1150, the Ancestral Pueblo began building permanent settlements and structures.
In 1880 Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier, an archaeologist with an interest in indigenous cultures of the American Southwest, to Frijoles Canyon. The National Monument now bears his name.
Hiking in Bandelier National Monument is popular, and there are some great trails to explore.
Things to see and do
- Hike the Main (Pueblo) Loop Trail
- Hike the Falls Trail
- Backcountry hiking and camping
- Take a tour with a Ranger
- Enjoy an evening campfire program
- Wildlife spotting
Bandelier National Monument Hours
Visitor Center Hours are from 9am-5pm. Bandelier’s trails are generally open from sunrise to sunset. If backcountry camping, you must obtain a permit.
Directions to Bandelier National Monument
GPS is not recommended! From NM285 US84 in Pojoaque, NM, West on NM502, West on NM4 to White Rock. Then, travel 12 miles to the monument entrance on the south side of the road.
Santa Fe to Bandelier National Monument is about an hour’s drive. Bandelier to Albuquerque, NM is about 2 hours.
Bandelier National Monument Park Stats
Date created: 1916 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.
Annual Visitors: 270,716 visits in 2021
Fun Fact: The people of Cochiti Pueblo are the most direct descendants of the ancestral people that once lived here. Their Pueblo is currently located just south and east of Bandelier along the Rio Grande River.
Visitor Centers and Passport Stamps
Bandelier National Monument has a small Visitor Center, theater, and park store. The park also has a small restaurant – Sirphey at Bandelier – that serves up green chili cheeseburgers, salads, and breakfast burritos.
Other Nearby Parks
New Mexico has some great National Parks. Here are just a few:
White Sands National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Petroglyph National Monument
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Click here for a complete list of New Mexico's National Parks.
Have you visited Bandelier National Monument?
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