With summer right around the corner, the urge to go outdoors and explore will soon be stronger than ever. New Mexico is filled with places to do just that, especially if you enjoy hiking, climbing, or both. A national monument near Santa Fe will have you making trip after trip once the temperatures start to go up and our ability to stay indoors starts to go down.

Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos has endless trails worth hiking, critters you've likely never seen before, and the result of volcanic eruptions from over a million years ago.

For those interested in planning a visit to Bandelier, we recommend first checking out the operating hours and seasons page on their website, as it varies by trail, visitor center, and more.

During your visit, you'll likely run into Abert's squirrels, which look nothing like your average nut scavenger, mule deer, unique birds, and more. 

Abert's squirrels have dark gray backs with a red-brown patch, white bellies, and fluffy, white-colored tails. You can't miss them!

The price to explore Bandelier ranges from $15 to $45 and some visits will even be free! Their "free days" for this year have already been updated on their website, and are worth checking out.

Camping on the grounds is also permitted for an additional fee and can be looked into here.

With how beautiful the national monument is, we wouldn't blame you if you couldn't bear to leave after just one day.

The ladder pictured above is truly iconic and is located along the Main Loop Trail. This particular trail is easy to navigate for all ages.

Trail guides can be purchased before beginning your journey for $2 for newcomers who aren't sure which trails are worth exploring. 

Though we can assure you, they all are!

Bandelier National Monument

Price: Free - $45

Address: 15 Entrance Rd., Los Alamos, NM

Why You Need To Go: There's nothing quite like this anywhere else in the world.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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