Bandelier Open Thanksgiving Day, Announces Upcoming Events And 2020 Fee Free Days

Long House autumn (1).jpgFall view of the longhouse at Bandelier National Monument. Photo Courtesy NPS


With the holidays and 2020 approaching, Bandelier National Monument is offering news on upcoming events, both this year and next.

First on the list, Bandelier National Monument will be open, with Visitor Center hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28. While many locations throughout the area are closed, the public is welcome to come to the park in the morning while the turkey is cooking, or in the afternoon to walk off some of their holiday feast.

On Sunday, Dec. 21, join a ranger for a winter solstice sunrise or sunset walk at 7 a.m.  and 1:30 p.m. Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and the point on the calendar when the days begin to lengthen again.  Many peoples all over the world have recognized the solstices and built markers into structures or found them in the surrounding landscape.  The Ancestral Pueblo people in Frijoles Canyon may have built parts of Tyuonyi, the large pueblo on the canyon bottom, in alignment with the sunrise and sunset of the Winter Solstice.

The ranger walks will greet the sunrise and sunset to view the possible alignments.  Both walks will meet in front of the visitor center in Frijoles Canyon. The times are a reminder that sunrise and sunset happen at different times in the bottom of the 400-foot-deep canyon than they do in the wide open landscapes on the mesa tops.  No signups are required for these walks, but participants should be sure to dress warmly.  If the sky is overcast, the walks will be held the following day.

Weather permitting, Bandelier will be open every day through the holidays and almost certainly there will be many visitors coming to walk the trails and enjoy the sights. As Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott said, “If the days are mild and sunny,  we expect lots of visitors.  We ask everyone to stay on the trails and take good care of this fragile place that belongs to everyone.”  When it snows, be sure to call the park visitor center to check on trail conditions or possible delayed opening hours.

The Visitor Center, book store and administrative offices in Frijoles Canyon will be closed on December 25 and January 1. The cafe, Sirphey in the Canyon, is expected to open in March 2020.

Looking ahead to the new year, The National Park Service will have five entrance fee-free days in 2020. On each of these significant days of celebration or commemoration, all national parks will waive entrance fees. The dates for 2020 are:

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

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