The Best Trails for Bandelier National Monument Hiking

Albuquerque is rich in history and fascinating attractions. However, one of the state’s most incredible historic sites is located approximately an hour and 40 minutes outside of town. If you’re looking for a fun day trip idea, consider Bandelier National Monument hiking! In addition to the ancient cave dwellings,  there are numerous trails here that offer incredible sights, so don’t miss out!

The Bandelier National Monument trails are just one of the many great spots to enjoy New Mexico hiking. Request your free copy of our Vacation Guide right now for a full list of our area’s top hiking trails, outdoor activities, restaurants, shopping, and more.

More About Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument is a historic area that contains 11,000-year-old artifacts over 33,000 acres of canyon and mesa country. From 1150 CE to 1550 CE, the ancestral Pueblo people lived here by carving their homes into the volcanic rock. They also planted a plethora of crops in the area including corn, beans, and squash. Although the Pueblos moved on to more fertile land along the Rio Grande River, evidence of their daily life still exists today. During your visit to the monument, you’ll be able to see a wide variety of interesting artifacts including petroglyphs, painted caves, standing masonry walls, and more.

Bandelier National Monument Hiking Trails

There are miles upon miles of trails just begging to be explored at the Bandelier National Monument. When you hike around this attraction, you’ll be able to see all kinds of ancient evidence of human life. Take a look at some of the best trails for Bandelier National Monument hiking and keep your eyes peeled for historic artifacts- as well as the abundant wildlife- along the way! If you want to plan your own adventure, be sure to take a look at the Bandelier National Monument Trail Map.

Main Loop Trail

You have to experience what the Main Loop Trail has to offer! On this particular 1.2 mile route, you can climb numerous ladders that ascend into cavates, which are small rooms carved by people that lived here so long ago. Most visitors spend about 45-minutes exploring this trail, making it ideal for a quick and memorable excursion.

Bandelier National Monument Falls Trail

The Falls Trail offers outstanding views of a waterfall! It’s only about 1.5 miles in length but involves some steep drop-offs, so watch your step. It begins at the end of the Backpacker’s Parking lot and descends 400 vertical feet towards the waterfall.

Alcove House Trail

This is a truly unique trail. The Alcove House Trail in Bandelier guides you through ancient dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people. You’ll find the trailhead halfway through the Main Loop Trail and continues another half-mile to the cave.

Frey Trail

You’ll be able to hike along the edge of a canyon, then down to the canyon floor when you choose the Frey Trail in Bandelier. It offers excellent overhead views as well as beautiful blooming cacti to admire, making it perfect for nature-lovers.

Yapashi Pueblo Trail

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, try the Yapashi Pueblo Trail. This is a strenuous hike that is tricky to follow due to fires and flooding in the past. Many of the signs and markers along this trail are missing, so bring along your best navigation tools and skills! This hike takes nearly all day for most outdoorsmen, so come prepared.

Return to the Bottger Mansion of Old Town

After your exciting day of exploring New Mexico, you’ll want to relax in some comfortable, peaceful accommodations. Come stay with us at the Bottger Mansion of Old Town, a historic bed and breakfast in the wonderful city of Albuquerque, NM. We provide lovely rooms, outstanding amenities, and friendly hospitality, along with a warm, delicious breakfast served first thing in the morning that will help you start your day off right. Explore the many attractions of Albuquerque or simply soak up the peace and quiet of our cozy inn and all its excellent qualities. Our beautiful haven of New Mexico is waiting for you, so check our availability and book your stay today!

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Cooper/Getty Images