Saturday May 25th 2019
A long day awaited us but she sure was a gorgeous bright sunny one. We got the RV in go mode and surprisingly caught the 2nd shuttle bus out to Bandelier National Monument.
A few things to know before heading out to this natural history lesson, its required to take the shuttle from mid May thru mid October between the time of 9 am – 3pm. Parking space is very limited. Obviously there are some exceptions just make sure to check out their website before visiting. Reason for limited space being out of its 33,750 acres boundary there are only 3 miles of public roads but over 70 miles of hiking trails!
The shuttle ride was an adventure all on its through that extremely winding highway. Take a gander at the ride on google maps once. Dropped off right at the visitor center we meandered inside for a bit admiring the artifacts of our ancestral pueblo people who once called this place home.
You can either buy a booklet for $2 or loan one, inside is a interesting description for each numbered plaque along the 1.2 mile main loop trail. It was absolutely amazing to witness these wonders and to learn directly from the past so up close and personal. There are a few chances at climbing ladders into some dwellings, very narrow spaces and petroglyphs. Take a minute to let the reality of these peoples lives remotely sink in and how far the human race and technology have advanced. They made their homes among the cliffs, hiked miles for water and had to provide every ounce of their food, water, clothing and shelter relying only on themselves and mother nature. I admire the strength and wits of those before us.
Once past the main section of cliff dwellings you start to enter a more wooded area, crossing a mini creek and then face the option of going right to the Alcove House that requires a 140 foot vertical ascent to explore or going left to follow along the creek back to the visitor center. We naturally could not resist a good challenge and after a quick snack break went right.
Thank the lord for our piggy back carrier that made this 140 climb possible and Jason for lugging our lil man up there. The sign was no joke and this climb was a bit intense and very crowded. You had to wait at all ladders and in between while people took turns squeezing through the barely single file pathway carved into the rock side. At several points the boys had to turn sideways and shimmy because we were worried about scraping the rock with the bottom bar of the carrier. Leave no Trace!
All the worry of going up there was well worth it once at the top. We recieved mixed views from fellow hikers on our decision of taking Phoenix up there but also a lot of curiosity as where to find such a contraption like the piggy back rider. Piggy Back Affliate Link
The view, the perfect preservation of the Alcove Cave and just the chance to experience made the extra mile of hiking and sketchy climb very well worth it.
The climb down was still with caution but we took the time in between waiting turns to get some extra pics.
In total we spent about 3 hours hiking 3.66 miles according to our garmin. We returned our booklet and caught the 1:30 bus back the White Rock Visitor Center.
We welcomed the air conditioning and chilled out for a bit continuing our 70’s show marathon before heading almost straight north for 2.5 hours right in to Colorado. The whole time drooling over the various mountain views the whole way and not to mention the endless sightings of elk.
We boondocked near Pagosa Springs for the night but only after driving a road I thought was about the shake the RV part it was nothing but washboard.
Remember Life begins outside your comfort zone!
Please SHARE with your family and friends.
Better yet get them all outdoors!
Support Wandering Nirvana on Facebook and Instagram