Frijoles Canyon. Courtesy/NPS
The Memorial Day holiday marks the beginning of the summer season at Bandelier National Monument, with the shuttle buses beginning Friday, May 24, and special activities happening throughout the weekend.
“If you haven’t been to Bandelier lately, this is a good time to come,” Park Superintendent Jason Lott said. “You can catch a free bus in White Rock, relax and enjoy the scenery on the way to and from the park, and have a leisurely day with the family in Frijoles Canyon.”
The shuttle buses begin running Friday morning. From then until mid-October, visitors will need to go to the White Rock Visitor Center Complex to catch the free buses into the Frijoles Canyon area of Bandelier. Buses will run every 20 minutes, seven days a week, with the first run from White Rock at 8:20 a.m. and the last bus leaving the park at 5:10 p.m. They are free, and have wheelchair lifts and big windows for seeing the scenery enroute.
There is now a bus stop at the Frey Trail trailhead in Juniper Campground, where bus riders can stop off and walk out on the Tyuonyi Overlook Trail and then catch another bus into the canyon, or hike down the Frey Trail to the canyon bottom and later catch a bus back to White Rock. Visitors arriving at the park before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. can drive into the canyon area.
Using the buses is not required for visiting parts of the park outside of Frijoles Canyon, such as the Tsankawi section and Burnt Mesa, or for campers setting up at Juniper Campground. For more information on the buses, check the park website at www.nps.gov/band.
Saturday will be the kick-off for the new Adopt A Trail program, providing interested people with the opportunity to monitor park trails or help with maintaining them. The event 9 a.m. to noon Saturday will include an informational meeting and a ranger-led hike on the Frijoles Canyon trail. To participate, please contact Ranger Claudia Brookshire at (505) 672-3861 x 512 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weekend marks the beginning of weekly crafts demonstrations by Pueblo artists. They are scheduled to be on the back porch of the Visitor Center from mid-morning to mid-afternoon each Saturday and Sunday through the summer, and for this holiday weekend they will be there on Monday as well. This weekend’s demonstrators are the Candelaria family from San Felipe Pueblo, making traditional pottery and playing native flute.
Monday, May 27, is the birthday of Frank “Boss” Pinkley (1881-1940), who was an important figure in the establishment and development of National Park areas throughout the southwest, and in establishing the principles of preservation of historic and archeological sites. There will be cookies and lemonade at the Visitor Center that afternoon to celebrate the “Boss.”
For more details on activities, contact the Bandelier Visitor Center at (505) 672-3861 x 517 and www.nps.gov/band.