I’ll venture to guess that 90% of you reading this blog post have never heard of Bandelier National Monument. I hadn’t until we decided to spend some time in Los Alamos, NM and did some research on things to do here…besides mountain biking.
Named after Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American anthropologist, who researched the cultures of the area and supported preservation of the sites, the monument preserves the homes and territory of the Ancestral Puebloans of a later era in the Southwest. Most of the pueblo structures date between 1150 and 1600 AD. The monument is 50 square miles, with 70% designated as wilderness.
After taking the 4 days off (the most ever since we went full time in January 2019!), we decided to visit the park for some hikes. The visitor centers are closed because of the pandemic, but we were able to hike all we wanted. First we hiked out the Alcove Trail and were amazed at the height of the canyon walls where the dwellings are! It’s a beautiful canyon to hike in and when we finished with the Main Loop and Alcove Trail, we doubled back and continued on the other way to the falls. Only, there wasn’t any water flowing to the falls. Still, the hike was worth it for the sheer beauty and quietness of the canyon.
Our boondocking spot is in the forest on the mesa above Los Alamos and very quiet. We wound back through the trees to find a spot long the cliff edge and hopefully we can get back out! Another nice peaceful spot.