Bandelier National Monument
This massive U.S National Monument sits on 33,677 acres, a popular landmark located 2 hours away from Albuquerque near Los Alamos. This monument preserves the homes and territory of the ancestral Puebloans from the southwest, a truly important cultural and historic landmark. Woodrow Wilson signed this protected monument into creation in 1916, the spot held so dear to so many due to its evidence of human presence going back over 11,000 years.
The rugged yet beautiful canyon and mesa landscape serves as a tribute to the early days of a local culture, with several petroglyphs and standing masonry walls scattered throughout. The various man made elements sit within volcanic tuff and mesa top fields, with a strong history of the great production of corn, beans, and squash that you can still see thriving today. The area was aided in its fruitful fertility by the adjacent Frijoles Creek.
While here your group can take advantage of the over 70 miles of trails, the entire spot giving a great variety of path difficulty levels and vistas, with choices sure to choose every individual in your group. Take Main Loop, Frey, or Cerro Grande Route, the latter being named as one of the National Park Systems oldest sites. See all the ancestral Pueblo dwellings throughout the trails and climb in the earthen ladders to explore the small carved rooms, otherwise known as caveats. There are 23,000 acres of protected wilderness surrounding the area as well, which are available to be toured via daily guided walks during the summer months. During the winter you can also enjoy the added natural and recreational benefit of skiing the slopes, as well!