Frijoles Canyon trail run

Scott, his dad, and his brother once met at Bandelier National Monument for a multi-day backpacking trip. The trip was a way to connect, spend time together, and visit a place none of them had been before.

I went there, for my first time, yesterday. It was a sunny, nearly 60 degree day and I was game for a trail run.

I chose Frijoles Canyon for my run and it was beautiful.

The trail starts at the visitor center and then heads towards an ancient village including cliff dwellings. It reminded me of a mini Machu Picchu.

Looking out from a cave
Cliff dwellings

After climbing around the village and caves, I headed up the trail.

Ancient graffiti

The trail is popular, but after about two miles, I was alone. Along the trail, there were patches of deep snow, and a meandering creek that I crossed dozens of times. Mostly, it was quiet and beautiful.

Walls of the narrow canyon
Can you see the face?

Running the canyon plus the rim as a loop would have been amazing, but I started late in the day and didn’t want to push finishing at dusk. I settled on an eleven-ish mile out and back. Much to my surprise, the trail back was downhill.

I enjoyed spending the time thinking of Scott and how much laughter he would have shared with his Dad and brother on this trail. It filled my heart with joy.

2 thoughts on “Frijoles Canyon trail run

    • I read through the walking tour history pamphlet I picked up at the ranger station. I learned that it’s the name of the creek running through the canyon: El Rito de Los Frijoles – the little river of beans. The brochure says that corn was grown eventually, but it doesn’t mention beans. 🙂


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