For visitors to Bandelier National Monument, Juniper Group Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located just inside the main park entrance, the campground is a short drive from the main visitor center, the Frijoles Canyon Shuttle System, and the adjacent town of Los Alamos. Frijoles Canyon, the visitor center, and many of the park's trails are only accessible by shuttle bus from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from mid-May to mid-October; however, Juniper Group Campground is open to private vehicles year-round.
Hikers can access two trails directly from Juniper Campground. The Frey Trail descends to the visitor center and Main Loop Trail across an open mesa top with expansive views of the park and surrounding areas. The Tyuonyi Overlook Trail leaves the amphitheater parking area for a 3/4-mile hike to a point overlooking the Tyuonyi Pueblo down in Frijoles Canyon.
Most guests begin their exploration of Bandelier with a walk on the Main Loop Trail. This short 1.2 mile loop trail starts from the visitor center and leads through excavated archeological sites on the floor of Frijoles Canyon. A portion of this trail is accessible.
The visitor center and over 70 miles of trails can be accessed by shuttle bus or car on the off-season, about 3 miles from the campground. Other trails in this area include the 3 mile round-trip Falls Trail to beautiful Upper Falls, and various trails of different lengths and difficulty leading up to the mesa tops.
Although rock climbing is prohibited in Bandelier, many popular climbs are within a short drive up Route 4 into the Jemez Mountains.
Flush toilets, drinking water and a dump station are provided at this facility. All sites are tent-only, depending on its size. Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. No hookups are available. Each site can accommodate between 10 and 20 people.
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged, beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.
The park is home to over 55 species of mammals, including mule deer, Abert's squirrels, mountain lions and 16 species of bats. Black bears have also been seen in the park. Birds such as Steller's jays, canyon towhees and mountain chickadees stay year-round, whereas turkey vultures, western tanagers and black-headed grosbeaks are summer-only residents.
The town of Los Alamos has shopping, museums, amenities, a movie theater, ice rink and ski hill. The YMCA and local swimming pool both have showers for campers. Nearby Department of Energy and Forest Service land provide trails which accommodate pets.
ADA Access: N
We stayed here for a week and a half in the middle of June 2019. We are a 30 ft travel trailer with a Ram 2500. I’d say between all three loops, there were probably 8-10 sites where we would fit. Some of those spots were taken when we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, but we were able to snag spot#9 on the Abert’s Squirrel loop. It was one of the few pull through sites. Not the easiest site to navigate or level, but we made it work and had plenty of room to park the truck in front. The campground was a little tight for us so I’d think anything much bigger(40’ is probably pushing it) than us will have some trouble getting around. Some of sites were questionable as far as level as well. No hook-ups at any of the spots but there is a dump station near the entrance with potable water. There are also potable water spigots throughout the campground. Conveniently, there was a spigot right by us. Very easy to fill jugs. There are shower houses and toilets, but never went to see how nice they were. The campground was about half full most of the time we were there. Very quiet and everyone respected quiet hours. You pay for sites at a self-pay station with credit card only. We tried to book for 11 nights and it wouldn’t take it, so apparently the self-pay is only good for a charge less than$100. If you want to extend your stay, you can either wait until noon(some things said 11:00 so not sure which is correct) and pay at the kiosk(it must be completed after check-out) or you can write a note that you are extending and pay later. Sites are$12/night unless you have a national park senior or access pass then they are$6/night. It is$25 to enter the park(7-day pass), but we have the annual park pass. There is a camp host on Abert’s Squirrel loop, but we didn’t interact with them so can’t say how friendly they were. Our spot#9 was perfect for solar, no obstructions at all. Most of the other sites we saw at least had some potential for shade. The Coyote Loop seemed to have the most potential for shade; although, the other loops had shady spots as well. Even if you stay at the campground, Bandelier is only accessible by shuttle from 9am-3pm. However, there is a hiking trail that will take you from the campground to the ruins. We did that then hiked the trails down there. You can also hike back up to the campground, but we opted to take the shuttle instead. The last shuttle leaves the visitor center at 5pm. There are other things to do in the area as well. The towns, White Rock and Los Alamos, are nearby and both have services should you need them. The road up to the campground(Hwy 4) is bumpy! First paved road we have ever been on that was washboard. Nothing major, just annoying. The portion of the road to Los Alamos and Jemez Springs was nice. We figure the road damage is due to the shuttles. Weather is a bit unpredictable; rain clouds move in fast, but they move out fast too. We had several TV channels so were able to stay up to date with the weather. AT&T signal was not good with only 1 bar LTE without the booster and not much better with it. It was enough to WIFI call and do some light searching, but uploading photos was too slow. Verizon was good with about 2-3 4G LTE without the booster, and 4 bars with it. I was able to work remotely with the Verizon hotspot. Overall, it was a great place to stay and we would stay again.
Nice quiet place within the monument. Shuttle bus takes you to visitor center Where ruins are and access to trails. There is a lovely 2 mile trail from campground that you can also walk to center. Ruins are interesting. Lots of wildflowers.
Many campsites with views of Navajo Lake. Pit toilets in Juniper, real toilets w showers in main Navajo campground. Food at Marina is good and affordable
There are 3 loops in the campground with various sized spots and amount of shade. We were initially drawn to loop C but there was a group that had 8-10 cars in two camping spots so we opted for loop B instead. We found a great spot with trees to hang our hammocks while still being able to keep our solar panels in the sun.
There are trail heads that are a short walk from the campground including a 1.5 mile trail to the visitor center
The spots have picnic table and fire rings, there is potable water and vault toilets throughout the campground as well as a dump station at the entrance/exit. You pay at an automated machine at the entrance, in April there were plenty of spots to chose from and the campground was probably about 50% full. Cost is $12/night.