Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Bandelier National Monument is a 33,677-acre National Monument in New Mexico preserving remains of homes of the Ancestral Pueblo People. Human presence in this area can be traced back 10,000 years but permanent settlements in Bandelier date from two time periods – 1150 to 1600 CE (common era). By 1550 the Ancestral Pueblo people had moved from their homes here to pueblos along the Rio Grande (Cochiti, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo).

Bandelier was established as a National Monument by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and now receives close to 200,000 visitors each year. The Rustic Style visitor services buildings at the monument were built during the 1920’s and 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and are the largest group of CCC-built structures in a National Park area. Los Alamos, New Mexico is the closest town and the monument was closed to the public for several years during WWII so it could serve as private housing for Manhattan Project Scientists and military personnel developing the atom bomb.

My last visit to this canyon was 8 years ago and I wish I had a few photos of the CCC buildings to share but looking through my files today reminds me I was more interested in capturing the cliff dwellings and remains of Kivas on the ground.  If I have the opportunity to return I’ll be sure to expand my range and explore the more recent structures too.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  Abandoned