Bandelier National Monument

The Setting

Bandelier is situated in a narrow, fertile valley near Los Alamos. The volcanic tuff cliffs rise spectacularly from the valley. The soft rock made for easy digging of caves back into the cliffs. The rows of holes that you see in the cliffs were for the roof timbers in building against the cliffs. Although not clearly visible, the lower left picture (shadowed indentation near the center left) shows a Macaw petroglyph. While not native to the area, Macaws, along with sea shells and other items, were common trade items.

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One of the reconstructed ceremonial kivas up the valley.

This is not for the fainthearted. The shot on the right shows the valley bottom. The kiva is located in the cave near the top. The wee, tiny little dots almost at the cave on the left are people. The only way in is a stiff climb up steep narrows steps (if you encounter someone, one of you has to back up) and narrow ladders.