Bandelier National Monument

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New Mexico, United States, North America
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5000 ft / 1524 m
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Bandelier National Monument
Created On: Sep 17, 2008
Last Edited On: Sep 24, 2008


[img:444005:alignright:small:Jemez Mountains][img:444002:alignleft:small:New Mexico Wilderness]Known for its rugged beauty the state of New Mexico is called the "Land of Enchantment". One of the jewels that has helped New Mexico earn this nickname is Bandelier National Monument.

Bandelier National Monument is located in rugged North Central New Mexico just to the northwest of Santa Fe and very close to the city of Los Alamos.

It is comprised of almost 33,000 acres of wild and scenic beauty with its sloped mesas and steep-walled canyons, from over 10,000 feet at Cerro Grande to just over 5000 feet at the Rio Grande, formed by massive volcanic eruptions.Some of the neighboring areas of interest include the Jemez Mountains. There is a Jemez Mountains page on SP. Also of interest is the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Valles Caldera is actually a supervolcano.[img:444026:aligncenter:medium:Valles Caldera]

History and Culture

[img:444021:alignright:small:Petroglyph][img:444018:alignleft:small:Petroglyph]Bandelier National Monument is steeped in history and culture. Bandelier was named for Adolph Bandelier, a noted archaeologist. It was his interest in ancient pueblo culture that brought him to the area. [img:444019:aligncenter:medium:Cliff dwellings]It is thought that Bandelier's human history dates back over 10,000 years. By 1150 ancestral pueblo people began building more permanent settlements in Frijoles Canyon.

Hiking and Wildlife

[img:444009:alignright:small:Alamo Canyon][img:444007:alignleft:small:Canyon wall]There are over 70 miles of trails in Bandelier ranging from the 1.2 mile Loop Trail for the casual visitor to the 22 mile round trip to Painted Cave for the more adventurous. [img:444015:alignright:small:Rugged country][img:444014:alignleft:small:Canyon View]

Wildlife is varied and consists of deer, bears, elk and mountain lions to name a few. [img:444012:aligncenter:medium:Mule Deer]


Camping is available at Bandelier. For lodging outside of Bandelier check the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce website.


Weather in the high country of New Mexico can change in an instant just as in other mountainous regions. Check on local weather before planning your trip.