Sunday, May 10, 2009
Bandelier National Monument is northwest of Santa Fe and like Canyon de Chelly, it contains a beautiful green canyon where Native Americans and their ancestors have lived for centuries. The unique thing about this area is the fact that the Indians enlarged the caves that are naturally formed in the volcanic layers by erosion. They built peublo structures in front of these caves to form multiple storied buildings high on the south facing wall of the canyon. One of the sites, Alcove House, we reached by climbing up a series of wooden ladders until we were 150 feet up the cliff face. The bottom of this canyon had a beautiful little creek shaded by groves of cottonwood and ponderosa pine trees.