Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico

Bandelier National Monument

Wilderness Area bandolier

According to Acronymmonster, Bandelier National Monument is located in northern New Mexico – USA. The area of ​​the protected area is 136 km² and has existed as Bandelier National Monument since 1916; at that time, however, without the nature reserve, which was only designated in 1976.

Bandelier – rock dwellings

Human intervention in nature is strictly prohibited on an area of ​​around 95 km². This area is referred to as the “Bandelier Wilderness” (Wilderness Area). The closest major city to the National Monument is Santa Fe.

Frijoles Canyon – once home to the Anasazi

The real highlight of Bandelier National Monument, however, is the Frijoles Canyon, a deep gorge that cuts deep into the land, on the walls of which carved stone dwellings and rooms of the Anasazi (Pueblo) culture have been discovered. An Indian ceremonial site called a kiva was also discovered there. The Anasazi lived in this area of ​​New Mexico about 900 years ago. In the mid-16th century, the Anasazi left the area.

Rich cultural heritage

To date, more than 1,000 settlement sites have been discovered; some of them have not yet been explored or excavated due to the high number. Within the Frijoles Canyon, the rock dwellings extend along the rock walls for about 2.5 km. Many of the former homes can only be reached via ladders.

Rock dwellings and cult place – Bandelier

In the southern section of the National Monument is Painted Cove, a cave that displays cave paintings from past cultures. The Bandelier National Monument thus protects both valuable natural areas and the cultural heritage of the Anasazi – “Native Americans”.

Bandelier National Monument wildlife sanctuary

In addition to the cultural evidence of the past, the nature of the Bandelier National Monument is extremely worthy of protection. Black bears, moose and mountain lions call it home, as does the unassuming but endangered Jemez Mountain Salamander.

Large areas of Bandelier National Monument are volcanic in origin. A ring of hills can be seen around a caldera. Volcanic activity no longer exists; nevertheless, hot and sulphurous springs can be found in the protected area. The Jemez Mountains, the southernmost foothills of the Rocky Mountains, dominate the image of the Bandelier National Monument.

Trails of the “Bandelier”

There are wonderful hiking trails along the gorge that bring the visitor closer to the many cultural sites, including unexplored sites, but also beautiful views for the hiker. The Bandelier National Monument hiking trails total about 100 km and lead along the highlights of the Bandelier National Monument. You should plan a whole day to explore the Bandelier ruins.

Anasazi building – bandolier

Beautiful hiking trails lead not only through the canyon, but also through the adjacent nature reserve. You cross forest areas and pass impressive waterfalls. The water flows towards the nearby Rio Grande. Pets and bicycles are not allowed on the hiking trails in the Bandelier National Monument area. It is best for visitors to bring their own drinking water.

Los Alamos!

Not far away is the town of Los Alamos, the infamous New Mexico nuclear test site. The first atomic bomb exploded there in 1945.

Bandelier National Monument – Camping

Camping is restricted within Bandelier National Monument. The regulations of the park administration must be observed. Pets on the campsites must be leashed.

Bandolier – campsites

  • Juniper Campground
  • Ponderosa Campground Group

Advance reservations are required for Ponderosa Campground. Firewood may not be collected. In winter, the campsites are closed if there is too much snow.

Bandelier National Monument