"Exploring Tsankawi" Top 5 Page for this destination Bandelier National Monument by toonsarah

Bandelier National Monument Travel Guide: 81 reviews and 189 photos

At Tsankawi you can walk literally in the footsteps of the past inhabitants of this region, following a well-worn trail through the soft rock to the top of the mesa where they once built their village.

On the way you can peer into and even enter the cavates that are dotted across the face of the mesa, marvel at ancient petroglyphs and admire the awesome scenery of the semi-desert landscape.

One reason for our planning to spend several days in Santa Fe had been to do a day trip to Bandelier National Monument. I had read a lot about it, here on VT and elsewhere, and knew it was just the sort of place we would enjoy visiting. Then a few months before our visit a wildfire swept through the area, devastating over 146,000 acres, including about 60% of Bandelier?s area. Almost all of the monument was closed to visitors. But fortunately for us one small part remained open, and it sounded like, and proved to be, one of the most interesting ? Tsankawi.

Tsankawi lies twelve miles from the main section of the park and is consequently a lot less visited, so is well worth checking out even when the main park is also open for business. There?s a very good chance you?ll find yourself alone here, better able to imagine the past inhabitants and their lives without the distractions of a fellow visitor?s mobile phone conversation or other trappings of 21st century life.

Start your visit to Tsankawi, as we did, with the journey there.

And later, to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico, please visit my Chimayó page.

  • Last visit to Bandelier National Monument: Sep 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (5)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    As always outstanding photos. This trail really seems to be very interesting. Another brilliant page of yours.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Love your photos with the bare twisty trees!

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    I really love those dry landscapes - just amazing!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Stunning photos and informative texts, as always! (Though I must say I think it?s a shame that those panoramic photos no longer display properly here on VT. I hope they will get that sorted out at some point.)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    Oh I wasn't even aware that there was a huge fire in Bandelier! But I can see that this untouched part was very much well worth the visit! It looks fascinating and I assume it was even more fascinating to think of the ancient ones and how they lived there! Fantastic photos and landscapes!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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