An evening on the main loop trailat Bandelier National Monument. Photo by Jana McClure
On most Saturdays, Aug. 4 through Sept. 29, Interpretive Rangers at Bandelier National Monument will be providing Bat Strolls and Night Walks in Frijoles Canyon.
Rangers Ryan Gaul and Jason Knight will reveal fun bat facts and accompany visitors on the Falls Trail to a spot where the group will quietly wait for any emerging bats. While Rangers Wesley Hermann and Derek Wallentinsen will share insight about what night time activity in the canyon may have been like when the canyon was inhabited by ancestral people.
Bat strolls begin at 6:30 p.m., cover about 2.5 miles round trip on the Falls Trail over rolling, uneven, rocky terrain and may last 2-2 ½ hours. Night walks begin at 7:30 p.m., cover about 1 mile round trip on the Main Loop Trail, on mostly level terrain that includes some stairs and may last 1 ½ -2 hours. As the summer wears on, start times will be earlier. Both programs require reservations, which can be made by calling the Bandelier Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon.
These hikes are recommended for those 8 years of age and older; all minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please be prepared for the weather, bring water, a flashlight and a snack if you like. Closed toe walking shoes or boots are recommended. Rangers will emphasize safety and have extra flashlights on hand. To better experience the canyon at night, cell phones are best left turned off.
According to Superintendent Jason Lott, “Experiencing an evening or a night in Frijoles Canyon can be quite memorable; come join us!”
Bat Stroll dates: Aug. 4 and 18 ― Sept. 1 and 29; and,
Night Walk dates: Aug. 11 and 25 ― Sept. 8 and 22
(Bat Strolls are filled, with room on wait lists in September)
For more details about these and other educational programs and to make reservations, contact the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517 or visit www.nps.gov/band, on Facebook, BandelierNPS.