Price & Hours
- Hiking, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
- Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
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For centuries before the United States declared independence, the Southwest was divided into a number of city-states governed by Native Americans. At the Bandelier National Monument, visitors can explore the remnants of one of these settlements. At the base of Frijoles Canyon are a collection of ancient cave dwellings and other stone structures belonging to ancestors of the Pueblo people. You can explore the settlement by following the paved trail through the village and climbing the wooden ladders into the caves themselves. After visiting the monument, take advantage of the surrounding park, complete with more than 30,000 acres of backcountry wilderness, wildlife and about 60 miles of hiking trails. Travelers say that while it's a bit of a trek to get here from downtown Santa Fe, it's worth it if you're looking to enjoy the outdoors and go exploring. Families with children said their kids loved it, since they can climb up the ladders and check out the cave dwellings.
Located about 40 miles northwest of Santa Fe proper, the Bandelier National Monument is open every day from dawn to dusk. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. A seven-day pass (which includes an automobile permit) costs about $20. For more information about tours, activities and free park days, visit the Bandelier National Monument website.