XEROX Mountaineering & Backpacking Club

Bandelier National Monument Car camp 14 thru 22 September 1991

Brief: A car camp with optional day hikes ranging from easy to moderate and possibly an optional one night backpack. Elevation at the campground is 6600 feet.

Where: Bandelier National Monument is located in north-central New Mexico about five miles south of Los Alamos and 46 miles west of Santa Fe.

What: This will be a week long car camp with a wide variety of day hikes and a possible overnight backpack into the wilderness area. Day hikes will be led to visit/explore ruins and cave dwellings, to the waterfalls of the Rito de los Frijoles and its junction with the Rio Grande, and to just explore the canyons and mesas. The monument covers nearly 50 square miles and is both geologically and archaeologically interesting.

Bandelier occupies the southernmost section of the Pajarita Plateau, a gently sloping bench on the eastern flank of the Jemez Mountains. The monument is crossed by three large canyons separated by a complex system of mesas and secondary canyons. The present topography is primarily the result of past volcanic activity. Much of the area is covered with thick layers of compacted volcanic ash collectively called Bandelier Tuff. Underlying the turf at the eastern portion of the monument are dark basalts laid down before the beginning of the ash eruptions. In general, this is high desert country, ranging from pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forests on the plateau to aspen mixed conifer stands in the western mountains.

The entire plateau contains a wealth of archaeological ruins dating from A.D. 1075 to 1550. Large pueblos, medium sized house-blocks, single room shelters, and cave dwellings are the remains of nearly 500 years of Indian occupation. Campsites of Archaic-phase hunter-gatherers dating as far back as 1750 B.C. have been discovered.

Campground facilities include picnic tables, water taps, flush toilets, fire grates, and a public telephone. The camping fee is $6.00 per site per night with a limit of ten people and two vehicles per site. Pets are permitted at the campground if on a leash. No pets are permitted on any of the trails.

When: Saturday September 14 through Sunday September 22, 1991. If you can't do the entire week and would rather make a long weekend of it, arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

Weather: The weather here this time of year should be quite pleasant. We can expect daytime highs in the low 70s and overnight lows in the upper 40s. There may be the possibility of brief afternoon thundershowers.

Topo Maps: Several maps cover the monument, but we will probably stay within the area contained on the Frijoles Quadrangle 7.5 minute series USGS topo. Adjacent maps in the 7.5' series are Bland, White Rock, and Cochiti Dam. In the 15 minute series, Frijoles, Espanola, and Santo Domingo Pueblo. Also available from the USGS is Bandelier National Monument and Vicinity, it covers the same amount of area as a 15' map, but is in the same scale of the 7.5' series (1:24,000), it is not aligned on the same coordinates as the 15' map.

Directions: From Santa Fe, travel north on U.S. 285 approximately 15 miles to Pojoaque. Turn west on N. Mex. 502 then south on N. Mex. 4. Distance from Los Angeles is approximately 900 miles. Car pools and/or caravans will probably be arranged.

Questions/Reservations: To make reservations or if you have any questions, contact
Randy Ortland at 805/962-6332 (work), 805/966-9422 (home)
E-mail: <71620.2666@compuserve:com>, or
Jack Cook (asst.) 213/333-5214 (work), 213/371-2706 (home), E-mail: <JCook:El Segundo>.