All over the country, this weekend is being celebrated as the Great American Campout. It’s a time for packing the tent and sleeping bags into the car, heading out for a favorite camping spot, and enjoying a weekend in the great outdoors.
As a part of the celebration, Bandelier National Monument is inviting campers to come and stay in the park’s Juniper Campground for free Saturday night, June 27.
“We’re close enough to Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and even Albuquerque to be an easy drive, but far enough into the woods to feel like a real campout,” Park Superintendent Jason Lott said. “Bandelier has so much to offer, with cliff dwellings, trails, wildlife, great open vistas, dark starry skies and all, that it’s a great place to spend a weekend.”
Reservations are not needed for camping at Juniper. Visitors should drive in to the campground without using the shuttle bus, and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day campers should utilize the always-free shuttles to go from the campground down to the Visitor Center area and back.
Buses run every 20 minutes on weekends, and every incoming bus stops at the bus stop in the amphitheater parking lot. Campers may also hike down the Frey Trail and use the shuttle to get back up to Juniper.
The last bus of the day leaves the Visitor Center area at 5 p.m. Anyone may drive down before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to the Visitor Center area.
The usual entry fee for the park, $12 per private vehicle, will still be required, but any visitor who has a Senior, Access, Bandelier Annual, Military, or Interagency Annual Pass always gets in at no charge. The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day, and trails are open dawn to dusk.
For further information, check the park website, or call the Visitor Center at 505.672.3861 x 517. Bandelier also has a Facebook page, BandelierNPS, and Twitter.