One of the Best Hikes Ever

We came to Bandelier because of a recommendation of a friend. He told us of this great trail outside the main park that was still part of the park. We used those clues along with the help pf a park map and a ranger to determine he must be referring to the Tsankawi Trail.

ancient staircase hiking up the trail return trail pot shard


The trail in itself was interesting and had varying sites, from chalky white paths, to flowers on the top of the mesa. There is a slight exposure on the trail and a few ladders, none of which were taller that maybe six feet.

The path and the steps for the trail are an old trail used by the people who used to love here. The rock is soft and wears away easily, so the trails can sometimes be a big groove unlike the way they were 600 years ago. It is still interesting to think that you are following footsteps from hundreds of years ago.

top of the mesa the top trail


The trail brings you to the top of the mesa where a community once lived. There are pieces of broken pottery scattered about. Some people have put the pieces no the rocks on the side of the trail so no one will step on them. It was interestingly to see them, but important to know that you must leave them there. Some day maybe someone will try to reassemble a pot and they will need all the pieces! In reality, these pieces are history and part of the park and must stay within the park.

inside a home petroglyph of a man village remains petroglyph of a spiral


The mesa top had quite a view and the path was less chalky and more abundant with plant life. A few blooming pricksly pears lined the pathway.

On the way back down the other side of the trail, you come to view the cliffside village which was very impressive. Patches of petroglyphs reside in the same areas.