Bandelier NM (Sandoval Co.)

Tips for Birding

When submitting eBird observations at Bandelier National Monument, it is most helpful to start a new checklist for each hotspot within the national monument. Use this general hotspot when you have a checklist that includes multiple locations or if no other hotspot or personal location is appropriate for your sightings.

Birds of Interest

Broad-tailed Hummingbird,  Olive-sided Flycatcher, Pinyon Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Evening Grosbeak,  Cassin’s Finch, and Virginia’s Warbler. 

About this Location

The Los Alamos-Sandoval county line runs through the north section of Bandelier National Monument. All of NM-4 and the first section of the Entrance Road are in Los Alamos County. The Entrance Road crosses the county line and turns north. The end of the Entrance Road including the Visitor Center is in Sandoval County. The general hotspot for the monument is located in Sandoval County and birds submitted on checklists using this hotspot are assigned to Sandoval County. Whenever possible, submit checklists using hotspots for the location where you see the birds.

About Bandelier National Monument

See all hotspots at Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument sits at the southern end of the Pajarito (Spanish for little bird) Plateau. The plateau was formed by two eruptions 1.6 and 1.4 million years ago. Home to the Bandelier Wilderness, Bandelier ranges from 5340 ft at the Rio Grande to the south and 10199 ft at the summit of Cerro Grande to the north, almost a mile of elevation change in just under 12 miles. This elevation gradient creates a unique diversity of habitats specific to Northern New Mexico. The diversity of habitats and quick access to water supported a relatively large population of Ancestral Pueblo people. Currently, Piñon-Juniper woodlands dominate in the southern parts of the park transitioning through ponderosa pine savannahs and forests finally reaching mixed conifer forests at the highest elevation. Scattered throughout the park are desert grasslands, montane meadows, and riparian areas in the canyon bottoms. Bandelier is home to a wide variety of wildlife. The backcountry trails at Bandelier climb in and out of deep canyons and cross large flat mesas, showcasing the entire spectrum of volcanic geology.

Bandelier is set within vast amounts of open space. North and west of the park rests the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP), an 89,000-acre nature preserve, which was created by the eruptions that formed the Pajarito Plateau followed by volcanic subsidence. On all sides of the park sits over one million acres of the Santa Fe National Forest, with the Dome Wilderness adjoining the western edge of Bandelier Wilderness. A large portion of the northeastern boundary is shared with Los Alamos National Lab, which covers 26,500 acres of restricted, mostly open space. Bandelier’s direct neighbors make the park’s 34,000 acres feel much larger than it is.

Access to Bandelier National Monument is by a free shuttle bus in the summer months.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

  • Roadside viewing

Content from Bandelier National Monument Official Website and John Montgomery

Last updated September 24, 2023