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“Even on a cold day, this place was magnificent!”

Bandelier National Monument
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Bandelier National Monument from Santa Fe
Ranked #1 of 28 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
Reviewed 31 July 2014

Traveled through Santa Fe last Thanksgiving week on the way to Colorado. Stayed 2 nights and drove up one afternoon to Bandelier. What a wonderful place! Visitors should be in fairly good shape , as the walk from the visitor's center to the ruins is a hike. Visitors can climb up to the cliff dwellings carved into the rock...no stairs mind you...you have to climb ladders to reach them AFTER you use the stairs that take you to the face of the cliffs. We climbed to the highest point and were rewarded with an eagle's eye view of the layout of the village that had been there for hundreds of years. This is a National Park that is well maintained and offers on-site park rangers, maps, restroom facilities and great spots to take a picnic. Take plenty of water, sunscreen and a good camera...well worth your time.

1  Thank S F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,069 - 1,073 of 1,610 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

Haven't been in over 10 years. Some of park damaged by rain and some of cave access restricted now because of wear and tear but still worth spending a day there. Very beautiful and thought provoking

Thank Judy915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

My family camped at Juniper Campground in Bandelier, so this is mainly a campsite review. I thought the campsite was very nice and has good flush toilets. No bear boxes, so put food in your car overnight (bicyclists--you're kind of out of luck). There are no advance reservations, but we found a campsite and easily reserved it for two nights. There were plenty of campsites to choose from. The signage into the park for the campsite is not very good--many signs basically telling you to get the shuttle-BUT campers can ignore those signs because the campsite is inside the park before the main road to the canyon and visitor center. The campground host was located in Loop A (Albert's Squirrel Loop), and they sold firewood as well. The shuttle to the main park is pretty easy to get to. They seem to have good ranger activities on Friday and Saturday night. Also, even though you've paid to camp, the rangers (one in training) still wanted us to pay to hike the canyon. I love this park, and my brave kids climbed up the big ladders to the Alcove House--too scary for me when I was around their ages. It is dry around Bandelier, so please bring water on your hike (at least 1/2 a liter per person).

3  Thank OhDannyB0y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

There is a shuttle to this location. Parking is limited. But we learned if you arrive before the shuttle runs you can park and avoid the shuttle. To do this you should arrive prior to nine am.

We hiked to the lower Indian ruins. These are wonderful to see and relatively easy to access. Crossing the river was a bit tricky due to a recent flash flood, but we then hiked to Alcove House. Climbing the vertical ladders was not fun or easy but so worth the effort. My advice would be to do as much here as your abilities will allow.

Normal advice for hiking in the heat. Water, sunscreen, sunglasses and hat.

Thank aliaud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Very interesting park. we got off the shuttle bus at the Frey trail and walked down into the park. That was nice as it got us away from the crowds and not arriving at the same time as everyone else, PLUS a very nice hike down with great views into the canyon as we came down. It was a hot day (95), but enough shade at times to be tolerable and great to have the snack bar for a cold drink at the end!

1  Thank missmadison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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