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Bandelier National Monument

Archaeological Site
Kiva interior – Jim O'Donnell

ADA Accessibility Notes

The newly rehabilitated Visitor Center meets accessibility standards. The first quarter mile of the Main Loop Trail is accessible by wheelchair; other trails may be possible for wheelchair athletes. There are two wheelchairs available at the visitor center, that are loaned on a first-come basis. The new movie is captioned, and several tactile exhibits are available in the museum. Guides to the Main Loop Trail are available in large print, Braille, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, and Russian.

Bandelier National Monument is an in incredible volcanic landscape encompassing thousands of ancestral puebloan archaeological sites. Bandelier's human history extends back possibly 20,000 years. At that time, nomadic hunter-gatherer groups tracked migrating wildlife up river valleys, across mesas and canyons. Around 1150 A.D. Ancestral Pueblo people moved into the area and built permanent settlements, creating a densely inhabited landscape of thousands of people. The diversity of habitats and easy access to water supported this large population. After about 400 years in the canyons of Bandelier, the people moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande such as Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo. Spanish settlers also made their home in the canyons around 1750-60. In 1880 Jose Montoya of Cochiti Pueblo brought Adolph F. A. Bandelier to Frijoles Canyon to show him where his ancestors originated. Legislation establishing the National Monument was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. During the 1930s, workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked from a camp constructed in Frijoles Canyon. They built the road into Frijoles Canyon, the current visitor center, a new lodge, and miles of trails. Bandelier's 33,000 acres encompasses numerous scenic views with its sloped mesas and steep-walled canyons, from over 10,000 feet at Cerro Grande to just over 5,000 feet at the Rio Grande. About 70% of Bandelier National Monument is a designated Wilderness area. Hikers can enjoy viewing remote archeological sites and spotting rare wildlife in this less developed area of the park. Besides the numerous hiking paths there are two campgrounds located within the park. Because of the large elevation changes within the park, there is a unique diversity of habitats specific to Northern New Mexico. Today, Piñon-Juniper woodlands dominate in the southern parts of the park while ponderosa pine savannahs and forests reach towards mixed conifer forests at the highest elevations. Scattered throughout Bandelier are desert grasslands, montane meadows, and riparian areas. Bandelier is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are NOT permitted on any park trails. They are allowed in the picnic area, campground, and parking lots. All pets must be under physical restraint while in the park. Remember, pets may not be left unattended except in a vehicle.


Visitor Center Hours 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM - Frijoles Canyon, Tsankawi open 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Seasons Open

All Year


7-day pass: $12, 1-day pass: $6, Annual Pass: $30

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