Bandelier National Monument

For us, Bandelier was just a quick detour on the way to Colorado. As we left Santa Fe, we saw a couple of signs to the park, and couldn’t resist going to see the pueblos. Here’s a few pictures and some reasons why you should definitely take your own detour if your ever close. 

Main Loop Trail 

1.2 Miles, 45 minutes

The History 

As you walk through the park, you’ll probably notice a prickly sensation crawling up your neck. To me, the spirit of the people who once inhabited these homes is so thick it’s tangible. I couldn’t get enough of the feeling.

Over 70 Miles of Trails

We only had time for the briefest of stops in this historic park, but there’s enough here to easily occupy a weekend camping trip or more. Trails include the painted caves (definitely and forever on my bucket list) and one of the largest waterfalls in New Mexico.

The Culture

Bandelier has an almost reverential care to the cultures that have influenced the park’s existence. The museum on site is just saturated with information and we spent almost as much time there as we did hiking. Plus, they have awesome events like Fall Fiesta.

My tips: 

  • Buy the guidebooks. One of the reasons this park is so special is that it is infused with so many people who have literally thrived in the middle of the desert. $2 is a cheap price to bring the park to life.
  • Plan ahead. We didn’t get a chance to really pack for a hike, but now that you’ve seen this article you totally can! Use the links at the top of this article so you can get the most out of your trips.
  • Bring food. We hoped to find a cute little diner to go eat after our detour, but struck out hard because of the rural basin surrounding the park’s entrance. Pack a picnic, and make it something that can fit in your pack. The only way to get into to the park is by shuttle during the summer.