New Mexico offers some great trails to backpack and hike. One of those trails is in Bandelier National Monument Park it’s 33,000 acres lay on the slopes of the Jemez Mountains. With elevations from just over 10,000 feet at Cerro Grande to just over 5,000 feet at the Rio Grande, the landscape encompasses sloped mesas cut by steep-walled canyons. Formed by massive volcanic eruptions over 1 million years ago, this place is home to a diversity of plant and animal life. In the arid environment of New Mexico, rain and snow are what ultimately sustain all life. The Rio Grande flows through Bandelier supporting a wide variety of plants and animals. It was important to the Ancestral Pueblo people for fishing, drinking water, and farming.
Check out this Video report of Bandelier National Park.
Within Bandelier’s 33,000 acres there are over 70 miles of trail. Some trails are short easy loops while others can encompasses many miles and steep rocky switchbacks. There are 3 long distance trails that look very inviting. Frijoles Canyon Rim Trail, Painted Cave and Yapashi Pueblo.
Wilderness permits are available at the visitor center for overnight stays in the park’s backcountry. Water is not readily available on most backcountry trails. Check at the visitor center for details. For more information on these trails and the park itself. Visit the NPS Website for more details. Visitor Center (505) 672-3861 ext. 517