Bandelier Activities Through October


Bandelier National Monument has announced its activities scheduled for the remainder of September and all of October.


9/27 Fee Free Day – National Public Lands Day. One of the Fee-Free Days for 2014 – visitors are welcome at all National Park Service areas nationwide with no entrance fees today (camping and other fees are still collected). The bookstore has a 15 percent discount on all items, and the gift shop will have specials as well. The next Fee-Free Day will be Veterans Day, Nov. 11; it is the last of the seven in 2014.

9/27 Fee Free Day  –  Fall Fiesta – Participate in an autumn day filled with special activities including Pueblo dances, crafts for sale, live raptors, and special activities for kids. 11a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Bandelier Visitor Center

9/27 Fee Free Day – Special Hike for Public Lands Day. Join the Bandelier Trails Program Lead Dale Coker for a backcountry hike. This will be a cross-country (no trail) hike along a portion of the monument’s east boundary, a very rarely visited part of Bandelier. The hike is easy to moderate in difficulty along rolling rocky terrain. Hiking distance is around 2 miles round trip and should take less than an hour each way. Along the way there are great views of Frijoles Canyon, Bandelier Wilderness and the Rio Grande River. At the end there is a magnificent view of the mouth of Frijoles Canyon. We’ll meet at 8 AM at the Scenic Overlook on the Bandelier Entrance Road. Bring water, snacks, good hiking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. Hiking poles are helpful for the uneven terrain. And don’t forget your camera!  For details call the Visitor Center at 505-672-3861 X517 to sign up.

9/27 Fall Fiesta – Special Presentations on Natural Resources. The Resource Management Division will be hosting a series of short presentations on natural resources, the changes observed in the ecosystems of Bandelier National Monument, the Jemez Mountains and the Pajarito Plateau. The closing presentation entitled “Why Public Lands?” will be delivered by Terry Foxx – a living treasure of Los Alamos County. From a childhood spent in places like Yellowstone National Park and public forests of Idaho to her research in Bandelier National Monument, Terry has come to appreciate the importance of public lands to our sense of place, research, and quality of life for the present and future generations. She will share experiences and issues related to public lands and their impact on the health of our society.

The talks will begin at 10 a.m. with presentations about the natural history of Old Mexico from two international park volunteers. Several other topics, including wildlife, vegetation changes and fire will be covered.


Each talk is followed by five minutes for questions:

  • 10 a.m. Introductions (Barbara Judy, Chief of Resources Management)
  • 10:05 a.m. Park Flight – Natural History and Avifauna of Mexico, by Jessica Thompson and Fernando Mayani, international park volunteers from Mexico
  • 10:50 a.m. Wings of Enchantment: bringing students to Bandelier to learn about science, habitats, and birds (Stephen Fettig, Wildlife Biologist)
  • 11:30 a.m. Longterm Ecological Monitoring and its applications to Park Management (Nick Schwab, ecology intern)
  • 11:50 a.m. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Time Series Imagery to Document Ecological Change (Kay Beeley, Cartography and Ecology)
  • 12:10 p.m. Why Public Lands? (Terry Foxx, fire ecologist)
  • 1 p.m. Closing remarks.


10/4 – 10/12 Albuquerque Balloon Festival. Watch balloons in Albuquerque in the morning. then spend the afternoon at Bandelier. Walk the trails, climb the ladders, explore the Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings, and enjoy the autumn days.

10/4 Photo Hike with Artist-in-Residence – Cerro Grande. Join our Artist-in-Residence, experienced photographer David Halpern, for a hike up Cerro Grande. About 5 miles round trip with a rise of 2000 feet, to the rim of the Valles Caldera at nearly 11,000 feet. Dress for the weather, bring water and snacks, be ready for high altitude. Number limited, ages 12 and up; for details and to sign up, call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517.

10/4 Night Sky Program. It’s an ideal time to view the moon, a few days before full – join the ranger at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater for a talk on astronomy, followed by telescope viewing with a HUGE telescope or two and some not-so-huge ones as well. 6:30-9:30 p.m., campers and non-campers welcome, no extra charge for this program. Weather permitting.

10/11 Night Sky Program. The moon won’t come up until quite late tonight, allowing the sky to be dark enough to showcase constellations, stars, and galaxies, and maybe a nebula or two.  Join the ranger at Juniper Campground Amphitheater for an astronomy talk and then telescope viewing through a HUGE telescope and maybe some not-so-huge ones as well. 6:30-9:30 p.m., campers and non-campers welcome, no extra charge for this program. Weather permitting.

10/19 Bandelier Wilderness Day – Hike. More than 20,000 acres of Bandelier is designated Wilderness, with over 70 miles of trails. Join the park Trails Program Lead for a wilderness hike. It will start at Ponderosa Campground at 8AM and we’ll hike the trail to the Upper Crossing in Frijoles Canyon. From there we’ll hike down the canyon following a route in and out of the streambed all the way to Alcove House then along the trail back to the Visitor Center. There are numerous stream crossings along the way and the route is rough and rocky so bring appropriate footwear. The total hiking distance is around 8 miles and hiking time should be 5-6 hours. The hike is mostly flat or downhill but is moderate in difficulty due to lack of a trail for most of the way. Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks, good hiking shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather. Hiking poles are helpful for the uneven terrain. Hikers will be shuttled back up to Ponderosa at the end of the hike. Reservations are required and group size is limited to 10 participants. Call the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 X517. for details and to sign up.

10/20 Bandelier Wilderness Day – Photo Hike. Join our Artist-in-Residence, experienced photographer David Halpern, for a photo hike at the very photogenic Tsankawi section of Bandelier.  Meet at the Tsankawi parking lot at 1:30 p.m. About 1.5 miles round trip, including four ladders and some scrambling. Dress for the weather, bring water and snacks, and be ready to be in the open the whole time since there is no shade along the way. Number limited, ages 12 and up. For details and to sign up, call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517. And don’t forget your camera!

10/23 Last Day of Shuttle Service into Bandelier. This is the last day for the free shuttle service from White Rock to the park. Beginning Oct. 24, visitors will just drive directly into Frijoles Canyon and park in the main lot by the Visitor Center, with the shuttle service expected to begin again in May 2015.

For more details or information, contact the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505.672.3861.

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