Bandelier National Monument
Less than an hour’s drive from Santa Fe, and on the way toward Los Alamos, sits Bandelier National Monument. Home to native Americans long before our Constitution was signed (like 700 years before), the valley and soft tufa cliffs provided shelter, water, and food. While we did not have time to explore the park thoroughly, we did take a quick walk along the Main Loop Trail to see the remains of ancient kiva and cliff dwellings. And, our native American bus driver into and out of the park provided much insight to the park and native American culture, especially regarding the upcoming Day of the Dead (November 1) and Christmas – Spanish missionaries converted many native Americans in this region a long time ago and there is an interesting blend of ancient culture with Christianity. I highly recommend going – and the drive there is glorious, too!