Bandelier National Monument

I am linking up with Design Mom today. Thank you for stopping by!

Have you been to Bandelier National Monument? We have been several times because it is one of our favorite places to take visitors to. It has all the right elements to make it a great outing for the whole family: a moderate 1 mile hike, lots of climbing on ladders, and just the right amount of anthropology and history to call it a field trip. Bandelier has several ruins and cave dwellings to explore what life for Native Americans was like around 1,000 AD. And, unlike Mesa Verde, you can actually climb into the caves, which makes it so fun for kids.

First a village on the ground. To get the full scoop I suggest paying $1 for the pamphlet, which explains explains the numbered sites in detail.


If you look closely there is an adobe structure in front of the cliff. That is what the cliff dwellings used to be like. When you see the pictures with us in the cliff dwellings, these front structures are missing.

Here is a view of the village from up high. I think several hundred people lived there at the time.


Lots of climbing up stairs to see the cave dwellings. You do not want to bring a stroller here.


So here we are climbing into a one room cliff dwelling. Like I said earlier, there would have been a structure in front of it. These caves are so nice and cool, which is nice because usually it gets hot climbing up the hill. Be sure to bring lots of water…IMG_8990 IMG_8992

How many people can you fit in one room? The people hiking behind us where a little surprised when they watched 8 of us climb out of there.

Another shot of the village below.IMG_9005 IMG_9008 IMG_9010

Here is my son Finn climbing up a ladder with Tasha. The ladders are bolted in, just in case you are wondering.IMG_9019 IMG_9038

My friend Jana with our 6 and 8 year old. My six year old could do the hike and climbing pretty well with some assistance.


Here is a 4 room cave. IMG_9062 IMG_9069

Here is my youngest taking a water break. The second half of the hike is in the shade along a small stream.

IMG_9099Bandelier is about 50 minutes northwest of Santa Fe. For more info go here. The visitor center has a small little museum showing what life in the village looked like. And it also has snacks foods available.

If you like travel posts like this, here are a few others I have done: Tent Rocks, Taos, Santa Fe, The Very Large Array, and Lincoln.

Have a great day,


Pictures taken by David Burton


Bandelier National Monument

2 thoughts on “Bandelier National Monument

  1. Gabrielle @ Design Mom says:

    I love this outing! Ancient cultures are so fascinating to me. And how awesome that visitors are allowed to explore the caves instead of just observe from afar. Fantastic!

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