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“Awesome ”
Review of Tsankawi

Tsankawi
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Los Alamos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

Beautiful views add in a bit of robust hiking and that was our trip to Tsankawi. As we were going along the ancestral trail we kept imagine what it must have been like for those who came before us. The trail is very narrow in spots and at points kind of close to the edge. It also involves a bit of getting around some rocks that may be part of the trails wear good hiking shoes. Water and a hat is a must as it can be very hot with few shaded areas. The ladders were fun but watch out when going down the third one. The rungs are pretty far apart and a little hard to traverse for those with shorter legs. This was a wondeful experience and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Thank Conservativegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"pottery shards"
in 17 reviews
"bandelier national monument"
in 27 reviews
"main section"
in 7 reviews
"main park"
in 8 reviews
"white rock"
in 12 reviews
"small caves"
in 5 reviews
"nice hike"
in 9 reviews
"state highway"
in 5 reviews
"cliff dwellings"
in 10 reviews
"smaller crowds"
in 2 reviews
"ancestral pueblo"
in 6 reviews
"left hand side of the road"
in 2 reviews
"reasonable shape"
in 2 reviews
"hiking experience"
in 3 reviews
"trail head"
in 5 reviews
"mile loop"
in 6 reviews
"short hike"
in 7 reviews
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105 - 109 of 155 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2014

Indian ruins, hiking and great views of the mesa and hike further to the Rio Grande. The area north about a mile on the right is great climbing, from what I hear and see from the number of cars there on the weekends.

Thank LA-NM-Boy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2014

If you have some more time after hiking the main trails at Bandelier, this hike is a nice addition to the day. Much fewer visitors and some great close up views of petroglyphs and centuries-old pottery shards.

Thank Charles R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Bandelier was great, but I actually found Tsankawi more fun to walk through precisely because it's not so built up or crowded. I had the place to myself for 2 hours. All the foot-worn ruts made over centuries of walking make for a fun, fanciful journey. A number of earlier reviews talk about how hard it is to find. Well, it's marked right on the side of the road, so I think the NPS has made some improvements recently. Note: it's not at all a difficult hike --- really just a stroll --- but there are several places that require ladder-climbing and some dexterity.

2  Thank flipper314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 October 2013

About 60 miles northwest of Santa Fe, Tsankawi Pueblo thrived as a village before Columbus arrived in the New World.

Archeologists and cultural historians believe the Ancestral Pueblo People abandoned Tsankawi in the late 1500s -- after nearly two centuries of occupation -- when a persistent drought devastated crops, and left the several hundred residents without water.

Today, the remains of the pueblo lie under shrub and bush, desert sand and rock, untouched by excavators, but open to visitors seeking an experience as solemn as it is rugged.

Our group of eight friends made the trek over a 1.5 mile loop to the top of a mesa and back down in about three hours. We walked through magnificent vistas, treacherous trails, ancient pathways, and felt a tactile sense of history about a people long since gone.

We held the history of Tsankawi in our hands, literally. Pottery shards with intricate and distinctive designs lay on top of the mesa, and we picked them up and examined them by the handful. We honored a sign at the trail head that read, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but tracks.”

Relying on a helpful National Park Service brochure that was available at the start of the trek, we walked and climbed a rustic ladder to the top of the mesa, where we saw earthen mounds that now hide an ancient village of 275-to-300 rooms. The rooms were connected in a circular pueblo around a plaza that very likely was covered to shield the residents from the sun. After the Indians departed, the roof of the pueblo fell in, and wind, sand and brush covered it. Now it waits for archaeologists and historians to write the story.

We followed a trail sometimes only a few inches wide that was worn into the soft rock over centuries as Indians walked from the mesa to their crops in the valley below. We climbed down two more ladders about 20 feet high, and passed homes that were cut into the base of the cliffs. We walked inside and saw the carbon deposits left by fires used for cooking and warmth.

Centuries old petroglyphs of human images and circle-of-life spiritual symbols easily are visible along the cliff walls, and add to the solemnity of the site.

The trail way is very rugged, and includes climbing up and down three rustic ladders, dizzying heights, and scorching sunlight in the summer. Water and restroom facilities available at the trail head, but no water is available on the route, which seems twice as long as the 1.5 mile signs claim.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-life American Indian experience, this is it.

7  Thank Dan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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