Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Cliff Dwellings at Bandelier National Monument

A short one hour drive from Santa Fe, New Mexico is Bandelier National Monument, an ancient settlement of the ancestral Pueblo people in the beautiful mesa country, just one of the many sights from a road trip along Route 66 some years back, covering Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. 


Estimated to be more than 11,000 years old, the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Park are just some of the spectacular sights in the vast park, with countless trails to explore and discover. For more on Bandelier National Monument, see more in my other blog here at http://soloexpeditions.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-antelope-canyon-experience.html.


It was a clear day, with bright blue skies and patches of thin, wispy clouds. And it was a perfect day to hike at Bandelier National Monument. Follow the Main Loop Trail leading up to the many cliff dwellings carved from the rock cliffs. The climb up is steep, but definitely worth the experience.


Ladders provide easy access to the different dwellings along the Main Loop Trail, providing a sneak peek at the ancient Pueblo people's culture. The dark and cool dwellings provided protection from the elements as well as invading tribes, and store essential stocks of food high above the canyon floor.


Without the usual crowd, one can explore the trail at your own pace, unhurried with more than enough time to take a closer look at this ancient settlement. Steps carved from stone lead up to the main dwellings, leading to a path high above for another magnificent view of the mesa.


Bandelier National Monument is another place where you can just walk for hours along the numerous trails, where you can simply lose yourself. Without a care in the world... 

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