Located just south of Los Alamos, New Mexico and two hours north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, lay Bandelier National Monument. Best known for its Ancestral Pueblo cave dwellings and anthropological history, Bandelier National Monument also has an extensive trail system giving adventurers the opportunity to escape into the truly 'wild' Bandelier backcountry. Bandelier is most famous for the well-preserved ancient ruins located just beyond the Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon. The Main Ruins Loop Trail is a must-do for any Bandelier visitor, but those with more time will have a seemingly endless amount of wilderness to explore. While Bandelier is a less traveled destination in the National Park System, getting out early will make your experience even more special.
Petroglyph National Monument, located just 10 miles from downtown Albuquerque is a special place showcasing over 20,000 ancient pictures called Petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are pictures, symbols, or other art work pecked, carved or incised on natural rock surfaces. Split into 4 distinct sections within the Albuquerque suburbs, each section's petroglpyhs illustrate how the ancient denizens of these areas lived, hunted and even celebrated. Petroglyphs in the park range in age from 1000 B.C. until more recent times and provide insight into the Ancestral Pueblo, Mexican and Spanish history of this area. Its proximity to Albuquerque and easy trailhead access make Petroglyph a worthwhile day hiking destination. Petroglyph National Monument takes visitors back thousands of years into the history and culture of the indigenous peoples who created this unique ancient artwork.