When exploring parts of New Mexico, you often wind up taking long, adventurous walks.
Most of these hikes require lots of walking, however, there's one that involves more climbing than anything else. Pueblo Loop Trail at Bandelier National Monument is filled with numerous rewarded stops along the way: 21, to be exact.
While this location is well-known by some locals and tourists, many don't know that this path will lead you to numerous hidden human-carved homes (cavates) and other gems along the way.
The mostly flat short 1.4-mile loop trail will take you through over 20 archeological sites like Tyuonyi, Big Kiva, Talus House, but it won't always be a breeze to reach them.
Numerous wooden ladders and stone stairways will need to be climbed at certain points and you might stay on the trail for a little under an hour tackling them all.
Halfway through, you can even make it to the top of the iconic Alcove House.
For those who prefer a bit more guidance, a $2 trail guide is available at the Visitor Center where a friendly employee will be ready to greet and assist you.
There's even a map online to check out when you visit.
Bandelier is well-known to be home to some adorable critters, so depending on the time of year you visit you may see squirrels, wolves, and more. This trail is the only one accessible during the winter months, as per Bandelier's official website.
Alcove House Trail
Address: 15 Entrance Rd., Los Alamos, NM
Why You Need To Go: It'll be a great workout and even bigger accomplishment once you're able to take in the views from the top.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on May 26, 2020.