BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT
Places to Visit
140 feet above the Frijoles Canyon, you will find the Alcove House. You will get to climb the ladders to a reconstructed kiva. A kiva is a room used by the Ancestral Puebloans for rites and political meetings. In the winter months, the ladders may be closed due to ice and snow.
This short hike will take you past two archeological destinations and lead you to a wonderful overlook. This overlook is perfect to watch the sunset. The trail begins at the Juniper Campground. Once you reach the lookout, you will be wowed by the spectacular view of the Frijoles Canyon.
Diablo Canyon Recreation Area
Are you a climber looking for some awesome traditional and sport climbing? Diablo Canyon Recreation Area aka “climbing heaven” is where you will want to go. This area is known for its multi-pitch traditional climbing spots. There are over 100 routes to choose from ranging in difficulty from 5.8 to 5.13.
White Rock Overlook
You can drive to this overlook so if you still want the views without a hike, make a stop here! At the overlook, you can expect views of the Rio Grande, picnic tables for lunch, and an area for outdoor sports. This is a perfect spot for a relaxing day in a beautiful spot.
Dome Wilderness Area
In the Dome Wilderness Area, there is a mini-mountain range that includes Saint Peter’s Dome, Boundary Peak, Cerro Picacho, and Cerro Balitas. You will also find Capulin Canyon in the area. Getting to the wilderness area can be a challenge if your vehicle does not have clearance. 4 wheel drive is not necessary but be cautious and assess the road before driving it.
Pajarito Plateau and Springs
The Pajarito Plateau is a volcanic formation in New Mexico. The erosion of the plateau has created deep canyons. A massive elk herd inhabits the area in the winter months and can be a driving hazard. The springs offer drive-up campsites(dispersed camping). This is a good spot to reserve and take the campervan.
Santa Fe National Forest
Santa Fe National Forest is 1.5 million acres of protected forest. Within the forest, you will find meadows, peaks, and a dormant volcano. You can camp, hike, ski, fish, and more in the National Forest.
Valles Caldera National Preserve
This is a 13-mile wide crater made from a volcanic explosion 1.25 million years ago. This is a great place to brush up on your astronomy. From May to September, the preserve puts on astrological events. There is no running water so be sure to bring your own!