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Join us and explore Bandelier National Monument and catch a glimpse into the history and wonder of New Mexico!

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.

Life in Bandelier

The Ancestral Pueblo people lived here from approximately 1150 CE to 1550 CE. They built homes carved from the volcanic tuff and planted crops in mesatop fields. Corn, beans, and squash were central to their diet, supplemented by native plants and meat from deer, rabbit, and squirrel. Domesticated turkeys were used for both their feathers and meat while dogs assisted in hunting and provided companionship.

Moving On

By 1550, the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from this area to pueblos along the Rio Grande. After over 400 years the land here could no longer support the people and a severe drought added to what were already becoming difficult times. Oral traditions tell us where the people went and who their descendents are. The people of Cochiti Pueblo, located just south and east along the Rio Grande, are the most direct descendents of the Ancestral Pueblo people who built homes in Frijoles Canyon. Likewise, San Ildefonso is most closely linked to Tsankawi.

Visiting Bandelier

Bandelier access by shuttle only 9 am to 3 pm May 16 – October 16, 2019. Access to Bandelier National Monument and the Frijoles Canyon Visitor Center is by shuttle bus only, May 16-October 16, from 9am to 3pm 7 days a week. Shuttle pickup is at the White Rock Visitor Center, or at the shuttle parking in Juniper Campground.

Explore the Ancestral Bandelier Area

Ready to plan an adventure to this stunning area? Click here to contact us today and we will help you plan your adventure!