For large groups visiting Bandelier National Monument, the group campsites at Juniper Family Campground are the ideal place to stay. Juniper Family Campground has two group sites that can hold 10-20 campers. Located just inside the main park entrance, the campground is a short drive from the Visitor Center, the Frijoles Canyon Shuttle bus system, and the adjacent town of Los Alamos. The campground has indoor restrooms with running water but no showers, picnic tables, grills, firerings, and food lockers. A trailhead is accessible from the campground as well.
From mid-May to mid-October, the Shuttle bus system is in service, running between the Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon, the amphitheater parking area in Juniper Family Campground, and the White Rock Visitor Center in White Rock, NM. Access into Frijoles Canyon and the Visitor Center is by shuttle bus only and private vehicle traffic is prohibited. Campers at Juniper Family Campground are permitted to drive into the campground.
Bandelier is home to over 70 miles of hiking trails most of which are located within federally designated wilderness. Two trails are accessible directly from Juniper Family Campground. The Frey Trail follows the historic route into Frijoles Canyon and descends down the canyon wall to the Visitor Center and the Main Loop Trail. The Tyuonyi Overlook Trail leaves the amphitheater parking area for a 3/4-mile hike across the open mesa top to an overlook providing breathtaking views of Frijoles Canyon and of Tyounyi, an ancestral Pueblo village.
The Visitor Center houses museum exhibits, park film, information and ranger programs, Western National Parks Association sales outlet, and more. Entrance to Frijoles Canyon and the Visitor Center is by shuttle bus only (or by hiking) from mid-May to mid-October. These areas are accesibile by private vehicle outside the shuttle bus period.
Although rock climbing is prohibited within Bandelier National Monument, many popular climbs are within a short drive up Route 4 into the Jemez Mountains.
Restrooms with running water and water spigots with potable water are centrally located in the Juniper Family Campground loops. Picnic tables, firerings, grills, and food lockers are provided at both group campsites. No hookup campsites are available. Shade is limited. There is an RV dump station on the road into the campground, however water at the dump station is turned off during winter months (no filling water tanks or dumping: mid-October to mid-April). During the summer months a camp host is present in the campground. Each group campsite is for tent camping only and has ample space for mulitple tents. Only one (1) RV or trailer is permitted per site. Each site can accommodate 10-20 campers.
The Frijoles Canyon shuttle system (mid-May to mid-October) includes a stop at the Amphitheater parking area located in the Juniper Family Campground. The shuttle can be ridden free of charge and offers service into Frijoles Canyon, stopping at the Visitor Center. Private vehicle traffic into Frijoles Canyon is prohibited while the shuttle is in service.
During the summer months, interpretive programs may be offered during the day at the Visitor Center and in the evening at the Amphitheater located in the campground. Check the Visitor Center for program schedule.
Check-in time for campground is 4:00 pm.
Check-out time for the campround is 11:30 a.m.
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged, beautiful canyon and mesa country which features evidence of human presence 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.
Bandelier National Monument sits at the southern end of the Pajarito (Spanish for little bird) Plateau. The plateau was formed by two eruptions 1.6 and 1.4 million years ago. Home to the Bandelier Wilderness, Bandelier ranges from 5340 ft at the Rio Grande River to the south and 10,199 ft at the summit of Cerro Grande to the north, almost a mile of elevation change in just under 12 miles. This elevation gradient creates a unique diversity of habitats specific to Northern New Mexico. The diversity of habitats and quick access to water supported a relatively large population of Ancestral Pueblo people. Currently, Piñon-Juniper woodlands dominate in the southern parts of the park transitioning through ponderosa pine savannahs and forests, finally reaching mixed conifer forests at the highest elevation. Scattered throughout the park are desert grasslands, montane meadows, and riparian areas in the canyon bottoms. Over 70 miles of trails at Bandelier climb in and out of deep canyons and cross large flat mesas, showcasing the entire spectrum of volcanic geology and ecosystems found within the park.
The park is home to over 55 species of mammals including mule deer, Abert's squirrels, mountain lions, black bears, and 16 species of bats. Replitles and amphibians of all shapes and sizes can be seen. 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 residents.
The town of Los Alamos has shopping, museums, amenities, a movie theater, ice rink, ski hill, and is home to Manhattan Project National Historic Site.
Nearby Department of Energy and US Forest Service lands provide trails which accommodate pets.
Valles Caldera National Preserve is 16 miles west of Bandelier.
Jemez Historic Site is 37 miles west.
Pecos National Historical Park is 70 miles southeast.
Santa Fe, 40 miles south of the park, is home to the New Mexico state capitol, museums, historic districts, art galleries, food, accomodations, and more.