“The Falls Trail at Bandelier National Monument brings you to a great view of the Upper Falls.”
— Ben Werner
Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
Due to previous flood damage, the trail beyond Upper Falls is closed to hikers.
This is a relatively easy 3-mile hike that goes to the Upper Falls waterfall. The stream does flow year-round, so no matter the season, you should get a rewarding view of an 80-foot waterfall!
Hike southeast from the visitor center along the paved area past the "Backpacking Parking" until you see the trail cutting off on the right. The stream that runs past the visitor center is all that goes down the falls, and even though it doesn't look like much, the waterfall is great. It is a very well maintained trail with some slightly steeper sections, but nothing difficult. At the end, you'll get a great view looking down on the Upper Falls, towering nearly 80 feet in length. You'll also get great views of the canyon on the way there, and an excellent view out of the canyon as well. A large portion of the trail is packed dirt and is wide enough for two people to hike side-by-side. A few portions are narrower and are singletrack.
At this time (10/2017), the trail ends at the lookout over the Upper Falls. Some trail maps and descriptions indicate that the trail continues to the Lower Falls and then onto the Rio Grande; however, due to previous flood damage, the trail beyond Upper Falls is closed to hikers.
History & Background
Overall, Bandelier National Monument has some very interesting history!