Bandelier National Monument

The Bandelier National Monument is located outside of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and it preserves archaeological sites related to the Ancestral Puebloans. The Ancestral Puebloans permanently occupied this region of the Southwest from approximately 1150 to 1550. They are primarily known for their unique homes, which consisted of cave dwellings built into the sheer cliffs and pueblo-style houses. By 1540, the Ancestral Puebloans moved on from their settlement in Bandelier, New Mexico, to settle in other regions of the Rio Grande River drainage area. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that created the Bandelier National Monument. This national monument protects 33,000 acres of land, which contains multiple hiking trails. The most popular one is the Main Loop which takes visitors past archaeological sites in Frijoles Canyon and the Big Kiva, an ancient ceremonial center.