Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail (includes Frijoles Canyon Overlook), Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trailhead, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail (includes Frijoles Canyon Overlook) - 2.2 miles

Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trailhead

View of the Tyuonyi Ruins - an ancient pueblo which housed about 100 people in 400 rooms

View of the Tyuonyi Ruins - an ancient pueblo which housed about 100 people in 400 rooms

Round-Trip Length: 2.2 miles (includes spur to Frijoles Canyon Overlook)
Start-End Elevation: 6,663? - 6,554? (6,663? max elevation)
Elevation Change: -109' net change (148' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail (includes Frijoles Canyon Overlook) - 2.2 Miles Round-Trip

Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail is a family friendly lollipop loop trail with good views of Frijoles Canyon and the Tyuonyi Ruins on the canyon floor.

The trail begins at the Juniper Campground Parking Lot. At the Tyuonyi Ruins Trail sign, drop down about 20 feet in elevation and walk 200 feet to the official Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trailhead. The trailhead is located within eyesight of the amphitheater.

Shortly after the trailhead, an interpretive sign describes the loop trail which includes the Frijoles Canyon Overlook prior to reaching the Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook. After the sign, bear right at the unmarked trail split towards the Frijoles Canyon Overlook.

At .5 miles (6,650?) there is an area that overlooks Frijoles Canyon. This is a pleasant spot to stop and enjoy the sweeping views of Frijoles Canyon.

Continuing on, at .83 miles (6,635?), the trail dead-ends into a ?T? split. Turn right to continue to the Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook.

*Just after this split, a short spur trail leads to a ?small ruin? on your left. An interpretive sign offers information about this ?small ruin? and it is worth checking out.

At 1.2 miles (6,578?), another ruin is present. This is a circular shaped sacred area or shrine believed to have been used as a place to pray for rain, as this area was an important agricultural mecca. In general, the trail is rife with wildlife while mountain mahogany, juniper and skunk bush are abundant.

At 1.3 miles (6,554?), you reach the Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook which provides an aerial view of the famous Tyuonyi Ruins. Tyuonyi is a modern Pueblo word for ?meeting place?. An interpretive sign provides information as to how this ruin was once used as the center of activity for the Ancestral Pueblo.

After enjoying the view of Tyuonyi Ruins, simply retrace your steps back to the most recent split (1.73 mile mark) and continue straight to the trailhead at Juniper Campground.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N35 47.713 W106 16.870 — Juniper Campground - Tyuonyi Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • The Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail can be made slightly shorter by skipping the loop spur to the Frijoles Canyon Overlook. It is recommended, however, that you hike this short section as the unmarked Frijoles Canyon Overlook is spectacular

  • Poisonous rattlesnakes inhabit this area. While encounters are infrequent, please keep watch and listen for signs of rattling

  • The Frijoles Canyon Overlook is unmarked, but is located at .5 miles from the trailhead

  • Several ruins are encountered along the trail. It is encouraged to stop, read the interpretive information and enjoy these pieces if ancient history

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • There is no camping on the Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trail. However, camping is available at the Juniper Campground which is open from March through November. Access to Juniper campground is 24/7 except in the event of a closure due to heavy snows or other emergencies.

  • Backcountry camping is available in other areas with a permit obtained from the Visitor Center. Before your trip, call the park for current backcountry and campground information. Backpacking permits must be obtained for any overnight stays in the park's backcountry.

Rules and Regulations

  • Do not litter. Leave the area as you would want it left to you

  • Stay on trails. Climbing walls or cliffs is not allowed unless a ladder is provided

  • Collecting, disturbing or defacing archeological sites / artifacts is a federal felony offense. Violators are always prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law

  • Removing or picking flowers / plants is illegal

  • DO NOT feed wildlife. Plague can be carried by squirrels and even a small bite from a squirrel can result with infection

  • NO PETS on trails. They are restricted to campgrounds, picnic areas and parking lots. NEVER keep you pet locked inside your vehicle unattended

  • There are no bikes allowed on trails. They are allowed only on paved park roads. This is also true for motorized bikes

  • Fires are restricted to the campground areas and available cooking grills. Collecting firewood is prohibited

  • Permit is required for any backcountry camping in Bandelier

Directions to Trailhead

From Los Alamos, take Route 502 southwest out of town for 5 miles, then turn left on Route 4 for 6 miles to the signed turn-off into the Monument on your right hand side. Shortly after proceeding through the Bandelier National Monument entrance station, take your first right towards the Juniper Campground and the Tyuonyi Ruins Overlook Trailhead is located in the Juniper Campground general parking lot.

Contact Information

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance Road
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Visitor Center daytime phone
(505) 672-3861 x517

Visitor Information (recorded)
(505) 672-0343

Group reservations
(505)672-3861 x 534

By Fax

Visitor Center Operating Hours

Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Monday of Labor Day weekend)

Winter: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (When mountain Standard time is observed; approx. Nov.- Mar.)

Spring/Fall: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (When Mountain Daylight time is observed in April & Sept.- Oct.)

Park and Visitor Center are open daily except:
Closed December 25 and January 1.

All day use areas (including Frijoles Canyon, Tsankawi, Cerro Grande trail, Burnt Mesa trail, etc) of the park open to recreation at 6:30 AM year-round. Day use areas must be vacated by official sunset (on summer solstice this is 8:25 PM).

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