Bandelier Extends Visitor Center Hours While High-Country Hikes Offer Abundant Wildflowers

Good summer rains have produced a massive wildflower blook in Bandelier’s high country. Photo Courtesy NPS


Bandelier National Monument will change the park visitor center hours from 9 AM to 4:30 PM to 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on August 1, 2021. Good summer rains have produced a massive wildflower bloom in Bandelier’s high country that should last for at least several more weeks. 

Visitation this year at Bandelier is up 157% from 2019 after seeing a drastic downturn last year during the pandemic.  More of those visitors are arriving earlier in the day to avoid the typical midday surge when the parking lots sometimes fill to capacity.  “Opening the visitor center 30 minutes early will allow us to have staff available to provide important information such as trail options, handouts, and safety messages to the before 9 AM crowd. This should ensure a safer and more educational visit for many visitors,” said Acting Superintendent Dennis Milligan.  

Abundant moisture in the parks high country has created the perfect conditions for a wildflower bonanza.  Hiking trails such as Cerro Grande and Alamo Boundary are the best places to see a wide assortment of moisture loving blooms including mariposa lilies, harebells, and shooting stars.  Cerro Grande starts on Highway 4, is approximately 2 ¼ miles each way and climbs 1200 feet in elevation.  Alamo Boundary Trail is located on Forest Service Road 289 (Dome Road) and is about 1.5 miles one way but relatively level.  Alamo Boundary Trail connects with the Coyote Call Trail on the Valles Caldera National Preserve.  Both trailheads have small parking areas, so it is best to arrive early in the morning.  Afternoon thunderstorms should also be a consideration when planning any hikes.  Acting Superintendent Dennis Milligan reminds visitors to look for flowers.  “Feel free to enjoy and photograph them but don’t pick them.  They need to remain in place so all visitors can enjoy their beauty.” 

Park entrance fees are $25 per private vehicle, $20 per motorcycle, or $15 per bicycle/individual. All entrance passes are valid for 7 days. Camping fees are not included in entrance fees. America the Beautiful 

– the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes are accepted for entrance feesThe full suite of America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands passes as well as Bandelier Annual passes are available for purchase at the visitor center. For more information about types of passes and prices, visit:

Bandelier National Monument is open every day from sunrise to sunset. The park store operated by Western National Parks Association is open each day, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The café is open 7 days a week, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm. 

 For information about Bandelier visit, call the visitor center, (505) 672-3861, ext. 0.  Like us on Facebook BandelierNPS, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @BandelierNPS. 

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