Bandelier Celebrates The Great American Campout Saturday Night With Free Camping

DSCN8632Camping is free on a first come first serve basis Saturday night at Juniper Campground in Bandelier National Monument. Photo Courtesy NPS

DSCN8636A family camps at Juniper Campground in Bandelier National Monument. Photo Courtesy NPS


Saturday is the date of a nationwide event, the Great American Campout, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage people to enjoy and protect wildlife and the outdoors.

At Bandelier, camping will be free at Juniper Campground that night, except for the group sites. Non-group sites are first-come, first-served.  Campers can practice taking good care of wildlife by being sure to store food in a vehicle or the provided bear boxes so that bears, and other animals including coyotes, squirrels, and mice, won’t be attracted to campsites.

With the warm June weather, campers should take care of the outdoors by being sure that if they choose to build a campfire, it is in the established fire grill and is never left unattended.  Campers and non-campers are both welcome to attend a ranger hosted star party beginning at 8:30 p.m. “Gazing at the universe through big telescopes is an incredible opportunity for everyone to experience, come join our rangers”, states Superintendent Jason Lott.

On Saturday and Sunday, the public is invited to visit with the cultural demonstrators on the back porch of the Visitor Center in Frijoles Canyon from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

This is shuttle season at Bandelier.  For visitors not planning to camp at Bandelier and arriving between 9 a.m. and p.m. parking is available at the White Rock Visitor Center or at the shuttle parking area in Juniper Campground.  Campers can drive directly into the campground, find a site and register at the self-registration location, and then take the shuttle from the campground to the Visitor Center.  Any visitors arriving before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m. can drive directly down into Frijoles Canyon.

For more information, check the park website at, the Facebook page at BandelierNPS, or call the Bandelier Visitor Center at 505-672-3861 x 517.