Juniper Campground

Los Alamos, New Mexico

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Overview

For visitors to Bandelier National Monument, Juniper Group Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located just inside the main park entrance, the campground is a short drive from the main visitor center, the Frijoles Canyon Shuttle System, and the adjacent town of Los Alamos. Frijoles Canyon, the visitor center, and many of the park's trails are only accessible by shuttle bus from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from mid-May to mid-October; however, Juniper Group Campground is open to private vehicles year-round.

Recreation

Hikers can access two trails directly from Juniper Campground. The Frey Trail descends to the visitor center and Main Loop Trail across an open mesa top with expansive views of the park and surrounding areas. The Tyuonyi Overlook Trail leaves the amphitheater parking area for a 3/4-mile hike to a point overlooking the Tyuonyi Pueblo down in Frijoles Canyon.

Most guests begin their exploration of Bandelier with a walk on the Main Loop Trail. This short 1.2 mile loop trail starts from the visitor center and leads through excavated archeological sites on the floor of Frijoles Canyon. A portion of this trail is accessible.

The visitor center and over 70 miles of trails can be accessed by shuttle bus or car on the off-season, about 3 miles from the campground. Other trails in this area include the 3 mile round-trip Falls Trail to beautiful Upper Falls, and various trails of different lengths and difficulty leading up to the mesa tops.

Although rock climbing is prohibited in Bandelier, many popular climbs are within a short drive up Route 4 into the Jemez Mountains.

Facilities

Flush toilets, drinking water and a dump station are provided at this facility. All sites are tent-only, depending on its size. Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. No hookups are available. Each site can accommodate between 10 and 20 people.

Natural Features

Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged, beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.

The park is home to over 55 species of mammals, including mule deer, Abert's squirrels, mountain lions and 16 species of bats. Black bears have also been seen in the park. Birds such as Steller's jays, canyon towhees and mountain chickadees stay year-round, whereas turkey vultures, western tanagers and black-headed grosbeaks are summer-only residents.

Nearby Attractions

The town of Los Alamos has shopping, museums, amenities, a movie theater, ice rink and ski hill. The YMCA and local swimming pool both have showers for campers. Nearby Department of Energy and Forest Service land provide trails which accommodate pets.

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Adventures Nearby

  • Hike to the Upper Falls in Bandelier National Monument

    Park at the Bandelier Visitor Center. The trailhead is down the road (the direction you came from). There are steep dropoffs along this trail so exercise caution, and be aware than in winter the trail may be icy. The Lower Falls trail is closed du...

    2.9 miles 496 ft gain

  • Hike to Alcove House

    Start your hike from the Visitor's Center and head out on the Main Loop Trail to begin. You can hike the loop in either direction, either first crossing the river across from the Visitor's Center or heading out from directly behind the Center. If ...

    2.2 miles 140 ft gain

  • Hike the Main Loop Trail at Bandelier National Monument

    Bandelier National Monument encompasses over 33,000 acres of public land, including Frijoles Canyon, the home of the Ancestral Puebloans that once lived in the area. The park has miles of trails to explore the rugged countryside, but the main attr...

    1.2 miles 150 ft gain