Bandelier National Monument

Old Jul 9th, 2012, 08:29 AM
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Bandelier National Monument

They have started a "mandatory" shuttle bus system for Bandelier National Monument. The buses leave from White Rock, NM. There will be several signs along the way that you have to take the shuttle to get into the park.

We had a crew of 21 and planned to hike and had been warned you should hike early in the day during summer heat. The NPS website said they were open for hiking from dawn to dusk but when we got to White Rock, the shuttles didn't start until 9:00 am and it's a good ways out to the park. We took a chance and drove on out. Luckily, there is a nice size parking lot next to the campground and the Frey Trail starts from there. It's a fairly easy 2 mile hike that we found very interesting. Great views from up high of the ruins in the valley and we passed by several interesting cliff dwellings and rock formations. The trail eventually leads you right to the visitor center. There are lots of other trails in the park as well. You can catch a shuttle bus at the visitor center to get back to your car. Be sure to tell the driver you need to be dropped at or near the campground.

I just thought this would be good info so you don't let the signs scare you from driving on out there if you want to. As a matter of fact, if you were driving from the other direction, you wouldn't even know you couldn't drive there. We really enjoyed being in the park early in the day before it got hot.
Connie is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Thanks for the information. Do you know if this is just a summer "high season" thing or will be all year round?

Can you still go to the Tsankawi part of the park and park along the road?
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Old Jul 10th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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emalloy, right now the shuttle thing is year-round, due to the damage done to the visitor center and parts of the park in last year's Las Conchas fire and floods.

Lee Ann
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Old Jul 11th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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Didn't see any damage but there was a little construction going on behind the visitor center. The lady in the gift shop said the mud slides didn't make it all the way down to the buildings and that they were very lucky. If she hadn't told us about the mudslides we wouldn't have known about it just from looking around (in the visitor center area). Roads are fine. The highway signs look permanent.

We didn't do any other trails besides the Frey trail so I can't speak for the conditions of other trails. Here is the nps website about changes since the fire:
www.nps.gov/band/planyourvisit/band12.htm
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 02:28 AM
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Thanks for the updates!
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