70 miles of trails stretch over the park's 33,000 acres, with trails ranging from short easy loops to rugged paths winding through miles of steep rocky switchbacks.
Main Loop Trail winds 1.2 miles through fascinating archaeological sites such as the Big Kiva, Tyuonyi, Talus House, and Long House. Some sites can be reached for further exporation via wooden ladders. The second section of the trail requires climbing narrow stone stairways but the first part of the trail is wheelchair and stroller accessible. This trail is kept clear of snow during winter.
Falls Trail is 2.5 miles long, and descends past two waterfalls to the Rio Grande.
Alcove House is a 1 mile extension to the Main Loop Trail, and leads to a ladder-accessible cave once inhabited by about 25 Ancestral Pueblo people.
Frey Trail is 3 miles round trip and offers great views of the Tyuonyi archaeological site. Starting at Juniper Campground, the trail runs along the canyon rim and then follows switchbacks down into the canyon. The visitor center can be reached by foot via this trail. This difficult trail is little shaded in the summer, and hikers are advised to bring extra water for this hike.
Tsankawi is an area of Bandelier 12 miles away from the main section. There is a 1.5 mile trail across the mesa, passing cavates, petroglyphs, and the Ancestral Pueblo village of Tsankawi. Some parts of the hike involve climbing ladders and the area is also dangerous during snowy weather and storms.
Cerro Grande Route is 2 miles one way up to Cerro Grande Peak, the hightest point in the park at 10,199 feet. The trail is known for landscape views from the summit as well as beautiful summer wildflowers.
Alamo Boundary Trail is 1.3 miles one way and connects to the Coyote Call Trail on the Valles Caldera. Fewer hikers visit this trail, even though it is a relatively easy path.
Burnt Mesa Trail is an easy 5 mile round-trip path across the mesas, ending at the rim of Frijoles Canyon. During the summer, hikers can enjoy beautiful wildflowers and butterflies.
Frijolito Loop Trail is a fairly strenuous 2.5 mile trek up switchbacks leading out of Frijoles Canyon, along the mesa, and then back into the canyon via the Long Trail.
Tyuonyi Overlook Trail is a flat but often muddy or dusty 2.2 miles round trip and starts at Juniper Campground. The trail is known for scenic views of Frijoles Canyon and Tyuonyi Pueblo as well as the plants along the way including the Pinon Juniper and the Alligator Juniper. This path runs by several archaeological sites which should be left untouched.
Frijoles Rim and Canyon Trail is a 13 mile long loop trail passing along the canyon rim and dipping into the canyon at Upper Crossing. This trail includes un-bridged stream crossings. Watch out for poison ivy, ticks, and stinging nettle.
Painted Cave has two starting points, the visitor center and the Dome Trailhead. Round trip from the visitor center is 22 miles and from the Dome trailhead is 14.5 miles. The trail climbs and descends steep canyon walls and has no guaranteed water access.
Yapashi Pueblo is a difficult hike, 6 miles one way. It winds through Mid-Alamo Canyon which has a more than 500 foot elevation change in less than a quarter mile. Water is unreliable along this trail.