Bandelier National Monument is spread across the three counties of Sandoval, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe counties in the state of New Mexico. The national monument encompasses a total area of approximately 34,000 acres of land that can be accessed using two main routes including using the Interstate 25 north from Albuquerque to NM 44 and then to NM 4. Visitors could also travel from Santa Fe which is 48 miles away from the park northwards using the 285/84 to Pojoaque, then west on NM 502 and south on NM 4.
The land where the national monument sits was proclaimed a National Monument by President Woodrow Wilson on February 11, 1916, and named after Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American anthropologist that researched and supported the preservation of cultures in the area. The Bandelier National Monument's amenities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and at which point the protected area was transferred to the National Park Service from the Forest Service on February 25, 1932.
The historic site was also later designated a Wilderness on October 20, 1976. Some of the attractions that make Bandelier National Monument an attractive place to visit include the presence of thousands of ancestral Pueblo dwellings found on the mesas and sheer-walled canyons of the Pajarito Plateau. Some of the notable archeological sites in the Frijoles Canyon were inhabited between the 1100s and 1500s, and before them, earlier groups inhabited the land thousands of years ago.
Today, the land where the national monument sits is popular for several recreational activities including wildlife viewing, hiking, camping, ranger-guided walks, evening programs and crafts demonstrations. Visitors to Bandelier National Monument can also bring their dogs to the park provided that they observe the rules of the park. Dogs are prohibited from entering any public buildings or from the hiking trails. Dogs are allowed in the parking area of the visitor center, in the Juniper Campground, and in the Cottonwood Picnic Area between signs that read, "No Dogs Permitted Beyond this Point," only, and must remain on a six foot leash at all times.