Bandelier National Monument, amazing Alcove House


BandelierNM_alcove_house_NPSSallyKingA few years back, on a long day-trip from Albuquerque to Sante Fe, my longtime friend, Rachel Scott, and I stopped by Bandelier National Monument to visit Alcove House.

That day I was one of the visitors who climbed a series of ladders to reach Alcove House, formerly known as Ceremonial Cave. This alcove is located 140 feet above the floor of Frijoles Canyon.

“Once home to approximately 25 Ancestral Pueblo people, the elevated site is now reached by four wooden ladders and a number of stone stairs. In Alcove House, there is a reconstructed kiva and the viga holes and niches of former homes,” according to the National Park Service.

I wanted to share that amazing experience and breath-taking view with Jimmy, so we stopped by to dry-camp at the Juniper Family Campground (double check on camping season with the Visitor Center: 505-672-3861 x517). It is located near the entrance to the park, just off Highway 4. Cost for camping is $12/night with a 50-percent discount for holders of federal senior or access passes. No hookups. Restrooms available. (Updated 3/2017)

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: The climb into Alcove House consists of four wooden ladders and many stone stairs. (Source: NPS/Sally King).

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