Results 1-10of 13 Reviews
West Virginia, West Virginia
October 7, 2011
From journal Memoirs of a New Mexican Childhood
Port Angeles, Washington
November 18, 2001
After taking about an hour to see the dwellings, we weren’t ready to leave yet. So we went on a hike to the Rio Grande River. This was a great hike! It seems that most visitors don’t venture beyond the cliff dwellings, so we had the entire trail to ourselves. Actually, the trail was narrow and overgrown in some spots due to lack of use! Fairly early in the hike, you get to a viewpoint of a scenic waterfall. You can look down into the flat drainage under the waterfall and can hike into it from lower on the trail. The trail then winds downhill toward the Rio Grande through wild clumps of vegetation and swampy areas. We saw where deer had bedded down and left matted down grass. The river itself was kind of brown and very quick moving – I wondered where the origin of the Rio Grande was since the river is not very big here. We sat under a nearby tree in the shade and soaked up the tranquility – how nice not to have to share with anyone. We were glad to have spent longer that the "average visit" of 2 hours in Bandelier National Monument.
From journal New Mexico Roadtrip
March 22, 2008
From journal Santa Fe and Around the Way
by Go Girl!
Los Angeles, California
July 17, 2002
From journal Small yet Sophisticated Santa Fe
by Foxboro Marmot
June 26, 2004
Buy a copy of the Frijoles Canyon trail guide at the Visitor Center for $1 before you head out. It’s crucial to understanding items along the 1 ¼ mile loop walk which features remains of an ancient pueblo, reconstructed cliff dwellings and kivas. Some reconstructions have ladders for access. The general rule is: No ladder: stay out; if there’s a ladder: c’mon in.
By the way, you can’t miss the Bat Cave. Unfortunately, the reason you can’t miss it is the pile of guano at the base of the cliff and its stench…. In season, rangers lead an Evening Batwalk at sunset to see the bats fly out.
At the far end of the Frijoles Canyon walk, just as it loops back to the Visitor Center, there’s a right hand turn for the ½ mile trail to Ceremonial Cave. Take this walk. It’s a level, shaded dirt trail, all easy walking until the end. Then it’s a 140 foot climb using four separate rustic wooden ladders and a few narrow sets of stairs to a large cave overlooking the canyon. It’s not a true cave, more like a large hollow in the cliff face. Despite the name, today it’s no longer believed to have had ceremonial uses. Current thinking is that it was just another large communal living space.
Note that the hike is at 6000 foot elevation in an area with extreme heat, important considerations for those coming from sea level homes in northern climes. Be sure to take a water bottle
From journal The New Mexico Expedition
Overland Park, Kansas
September 15, 2000
Several tours are given throughout the day. The particular tour I went on was wonderful. Our guide was an ancestor of the Anasazi. She told us how vital the water was to them when they lived in Bandelier National Park. I learned that the Yucca plant could be used to wash your clothes or your hair. You can braid it to make shoes. And you can eat it too. She told us two folk tales her grandmother taught her. Then she ground corn with rocks as they used to.
After that, go explore the area. You'll see kivas--ceremonial pits used for worshipping. We saw a burial mound. The most exciting part is climbing to the cliff dwellings and going inside an actual one. It's hot and you'll realize how good it feels to be inside the cool dome.
I strongly caution anyone who has medical problems to try to stay out of the sun. They may not want to walk up the numerous stairs to see the cliff dwellings either. I'm in fairly good shape, but I needed a lot of water and I was out of breath. The altitude will get to you. Take it slow and don't try to do it in the heat of the day.
From journal The Los Alamos Loop
September 25, 2000
On a hot dry afternoon, we explored the ancient ruins along the cliffs. The visitor center and the rangers are helpful if you have questions, but the tour of the ancient cave dwellings is an easy hike and takes about 2 hours since there's lots to explore. These cave dwellings are stunning and mysterious because you can visualize the way ancient Indians lived as you wander along these cliffs with caves carved out of them. One of the ancient cave dwellings is accessible only by climbing 140 feet of ladders!
There are also many backcountry hiking trails along the canyon, which are more adventuresome. Even if you are only going for the self guided tour of the ruins, bring a cap, sunscreen, and lots of water.
From journal Luxurious Late Summer in Santa Fe
October 14, 2005
Well, I didn't go up there. I'm afraid of heights, but at least I admit that. Most people don't, so it's hilarious to sit beneath the ladders and look up. And hey, if the weather’s good, maybe some young girls will try too - now I got smacked by my wife!
From journal Santa Fe - Next to the Railway Track
April 12, 2005
Once you arrive, entrace fees are $5 a person or $10 a car. The first thing you should do is head to the visitors center and pick up a guided trail map. These maps will guide you along your hike, pointing out sites of interest and giving historical and cultural facts.
From journal A Snowy Spring in Santa Fe
March 28, 2001
You'll have to walk a short distance to view the cliff dwellings, so wear comfy shoes. Best time to go is fall or spring - could be too hot in the summer to be enjoyable! There are places for picnics and camping. Also, giftshop and snackbar.
Also an entrance fee - per car I believe.
From journal Santa Fe