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ILNP Park Review
We visited Bandelier NM on the way from Colorado to Carlsbad Caverns NP during March as part of our 8 National Park Southwest trip.
Our Weather A little hazy but very nice–about 70 degrees
Overall Impression Bandelier is a really neat place. The visitors center is informative and well done, the ruins are interesting and easily accessible and the scenery in Frijoles Canyon is reminiscent of a National Park. We were very impressed with everything, including the drive into the Monument, and would highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area.
Visiting Plan on spending at least 2 hours in Bandelier. Take the time to watch the short video at the visitor center which gives a brief history of the area and what is known about the Indians who lived here. The Main Loop Trail to see all the ruins starts at the visitors center. In short order, the trail takes you past the Big Kiva, the round Pueblo village of Tyuonyi (don’t ask me how to pronounce it) and two sets of Cliff Dwellings. Be sure to read the excellent trail guide to understand what you’re seeing at each point along the trail. A leisurely stroll takes about an hour.
If you have more time and want to do more hiking, you can take the longer trail along Frijoles Creek to the Ceremonial Cave where you climb 14 stories at the end and get a commanding view of the scenery.
Nearby Towns Los Alamos, Santa Fe (New Mexico)
Other Nearby Attractions Taos, NM
Official NPS Website Bandelier NM
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