Part one of our vacation was visiting Santa Fe, New Mexico. The great thing about the city is there are many day trips you can take from there. One of ours was supposed to be Angel Fire Resort to go snow tubing, but a crazy blizzard in the mountains put an end to that plan. Thankfully the weather cooperated for our next day trip. If you haven’t heard of it and aren’t even sure what to do at Bandelier National Monument, don’t worry. I didn’t either. The National Parks service has some history about the park if you want to read up before visiting. Our family enjoyed visiting the historic cliff dwellings and hiking.
Visiting Bandelier During Covid
We visited Bandelier mid March. Masks were required by the national parks service for entry. The visitors center and museum were closed, which was unfortunate because we wanted to learn more about the Pueblo communities who used to live there. We arrived at 10 am, which was a good time because there weren’t too many people. We wore masks when in line to see the cliff dwellings and on the main Pueblo trail but were able to remove them when hiking as there weren’t too many people.
What to Wear to the Park
I was ready to hike at Bandelier, so I made sure I wore clothes and shoes that would allow free movement. The temperature changes significantly throughout the day, so I had layers on. Affiliate links below for pieces similar to what I wore.
Bandelier Historic Cave Dwellings
The main attraction for the park is the cliff dwellings. They are authentic ancient homes of the Pueblo people who populated New Mexico. You can check them out from afar with the viewfinders when you first walk in and you can take a ladder up to actually check them out.
Hiking in Bandelier
There are quite a few trails in the park, we did the Main Pueblo Trail and the Frey Trail. The Main Pueblo Trail is more a footpath than a trail. The Frey Trail though, is a legit hiking trail. It’s one way and kind of steep. Keep that in mind with kids and when deciding on footwear. My kids (ages 7, 8, and 12) followed safety rules and were fine on it.
Detour to Los Alamos, New Mexico
We took a slight detour along our way to the park for breakfast in Los Alamos. I’m so glad we did. First, we found this AMAZING lookout spot along the way. Los Alamos itself is a quaint little town, despite it being home to the Manhattan Project. Unfortunately the museum was closed, so we just grabbed some bagels and had a little picnic in the grassy area in front. I did like the locals and got a green chile bagel with green chile cream cheese. It was, in fact, as good as it sounds.
One more day of Santa Fe to go, stay tuned!