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  • Writer's pictureSue.

The Scary 140 Foot Climb To Where Some People Lived Centuries Ago Near Santa Fe NM

Updated: May 31, 2022

So if a blog is titled "Bandelier National Monument" will anyone read it? I think not. So heck with the historical, important stuff. The best part of our time at this monument was the climb to the Alcove House. According to those who study this stuff, this once was a home occupied by approximately 25 Ancestral Pueblo people.

After a 2 mile hike in the Frijoles Canyon we reached the place where we could see the Alcove House. I took a look at the ascent and had to consider my options. Ken wanted to do it and I certainly don't like to look like a scaredy cat. I have some fear of heights but it seems to be fading a bit. Several trips across the Rocky Mountains in a 35,000 lb vehicle where I am the helpless passenger looking over the sheer cliff may have helped.

Surprising myself, I decided to do it - 140 feet of steps and ladders to this residential Alcove. I concentrated on the ladders and did not look down. I took some good photos of Ken but, whoops, no photos of Sue up there. Well, I was the one at the top taking the photos, I swear.

We also walked along the Pueblo Loop Trail where dwellings from the early Pueblo population are carved into the soft rock cliffs. Ladders are provided at some spots so viewing the interior of some rooms is possible.

Since we hiked/walked/climbed less than 3 miles we decided to hike the "Falls Trail". Very nice scenery and many sheer drop offs. However, at the end of the trail there was no waterfall. Frijoles Creek (or, Little River of Beans) was totally dried up due to the drought.

A beautiful sunset on the ride out of the park:

By the way, this national monument protects over 33,000 acres of beautiful canyons and mesa country with evidence of human presence going back over 11,000 years.

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