Falls Trail-Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico 87544

Distance1.5mi
Elevation Gain599ft
Trailhead Elevation6,030ft
Top6,099ft
Elevation Min/Max5827/6099ft
Elevation Start/End6030/6030ft

Falls Trail-Bandelier National Monument

Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Sandoval County, New Mexico. It is within Bandelier National Monument. It is 1.5 miles long and begins at 6,030 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3 miles with a total elevation gain of 599 feet.

Falls Trail-Bandelier National Monument Professional Reviews and Guides

"This hike provides an opportunity to see not only the natural beauty of the falls but also the geological history and vegetative diversity present in Frijoles Canyon. You will pass two waterfalls on your way to the Rio Grande. The hike begins close to the monument bookstore and museum, giving you the opportunity to pick up a self-guide pamphlet for the trail, “A Guide to Falls Trail, Bandelier National Monument.”

It is an excellent source for detailed information on the geology of the entire Jemez Mountain area. You may want to hike some of the other trails of Bandelier and do a little shopping at the gift shop, which has a fine selection of Native American art from the surrounding pueblos. When planning this hike keep in mind that the monument closes at dusk."

"Most visitors to Bandelier National Monument stay in Frijoles Canyon and tour the main pueblo, Tyuonyi, but the Monument offers plenty of backcountry adventures, too. A spectacular introduction to the volcanic scenery at Bandelier is the Falls Trail.

The route follows Frijoles Canyon downstream from the visitor center to the Rio Grande in White Rock Canyon. Along the way are stands of old-growth ponderosa pine, colorful deposits from underwater volcanic eruptions, and two high waterfalls. The best time to enjoy the falls is during spring runoff in March."

"A day hike down beautifully wooded Frijoles Canyon to a high waterfall. Bandelier is famous for its extensive Ancestral Pueblo Indian ruins. Few visitors are aware that 90 percent of the park is virtually undisturbed wild land. Over 70 miles of maintained trails cross Bandelier. This hike is the park’s most popular, not including the archaeological trails, and makes an easy introduction to Bandelier’s wilderness area.

From the visitor center, cross the creek and walk downstream through the backcountry parking area to the well-marked trail. The trail descends at an easy grade along Frijoles Creek through lush riparian vegetation, such as box elder and ponderosa pine. About 1.5 miles down the trail, you reach Upper Falls."

"The Falls Trail to the upper falls in Bandelier National Monument is a 3-mile out-and-back hike that descends about 400 vertical feet on the way to the falls. The trail can be quite rugged in places and includes several spots where there are steep drop-offs. Like all hikes in Bandelier National Monument, be sure to bring plenty of water."

"The extensive trail system in Bandelier National Monument allows for a wide range of hikes, from leisurely strolls among ancient cliff dwellings to weeklong treks into backcountry wilderness. Falls Trail is geared for casual hikers, with minor challenges and many rewarding views.

Cliff dwellings are the main attraction at Bandelier National Monument today. With 70 miles of trails to choose from, picking a route in this 33,750-acre monument can be tough. The hike outlined below basically uses Yapashi Trail to reach Mid Alamo Canyon."

Falls Trail-Bandelier National Monument Reviews

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4/9/2013
The trail was washed out between the upper and lower falls in August 2011. It cannot be repaired but is still a wonderful hike.
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10/30/2009
Absolutely beautful trail. I went a couple of days after a snowfall,so it made this trail that much better looking. I would definitely hike this trail again.
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9/2/2008
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10/15/2006
Very enjoyable hike! We hiked in the fall when the leaves were turning and the weather was cool. Probably best hiked in the spring or fall to avoid heat on the bottom section of the trail.
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8/11/2001
Two beautiful waterfalls and lush vegatation. Hike past the waterfalls to the Rio Grande River. Most of the hike has some shade from the sun. Water is also found on most of the hike.
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3/10/2000
You won't find too many waterfalls in New Mexico. Luckily you will find two of the best in the state here at Bandelier NM. The hike towards the Rio Grande is not strenuos and it allows some great views of the falls. The only negative is that you can't get to the base of the falls without some difficult scrambling. If you're headed to Bandelier, this would be one of the hikes that I recommend
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Falls Trail-Bandelier National Monument Photos

Trail Information

Bandelier National Monument
Nearby City
Bandelier National Monument
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Waterfalls
Features
Bandelier National Monument, 15 Entrance Rd., Los Alamos, NM 87544; (505) 672-3861; www.nps.gov/band/index.htm
Local Contacts
National Geographic Trails Illustrated: Bandelier National Monument; Bandelier National Monument brochure; Frijoles 7.5-minute USGS quad
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018