Sunday, July 17, 2016


Tsankawi is a remote unit of Bandelier National Monument, located about 11 miles northeast of the main unit and about 2 miles north of the White Rock Visitors Center on New Mexico highway 4.  It includes a designated parking area on NM-4.  When parking there, putting your pass for Bandelier in your vehicle where it may be seen is recommended, but I didn't see any park officials in the area.  In fact, the only people I saw were two women who arrived as I was leaving.  From the parking area, a trail leads to a ranger station and restrooms, which have drinking fountains.  The trail continues into the unit and after taking you up a ladder, makes a loop over and around a mesa.  From part of the trail, you can look up and see your impending climb.

Much of the trail is a well-worn trench in the rock, but in one place there are several parallel grooves, forming what I call the "claw".

I eventually reached the top.

Someone had placed these cairns at the northern edge of the top.  In the background, I think that's the interchange between NM-4 and NM-502.

The ruins of the Tsankawi pueblo were also on top of the mesa.

The rock on the side of the mesa, near the center of this next shot, has some notches that look rectangular.  Were they carved into the rock?

The trail passes close to this rock, which includes numerous petroglyphs.

For more on Tsankawi, go to Santa Fe Travelers, All Trails and The American Southwest.

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