24 May, 2020

Roswell and Bandelier National Monument #NewMexicoTrip #Day3

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The First day of our #NewMexicoTrip started with White Sands National park.

After our day spent completely in Carlsbad National Park on #Day2, we drove to Roswell and stayed there in the night. 

New Mexico Trip with kids

International UFO Museum and Research center

Roswell, as you might know, is famous as the Land of Aliens, which is a fun place to spend a half-day. As many blogs suggested as this is a must-visit, we went to the International UFO Museum and Research center

The museum has a lot of information and collection of facts about UFO sightings, aliens spotted at different places across the world, Voice recordings, and paper clippings of UFO sightings in Roswell, movies that were taken on this theme etc., The Entrance fee is $5. 


The museum is mostly focused on the 1947 Roswell crash and the UFO sighting event. The museum also has a gift store with souvenirs and books related to UFO.

Roswell UFO museum

Roswell UFO museum

Bottomless Lakes State Park

While we were driving Roswell from Carlsbad, we found the signs to Bitterlake National wildlife refuge and Bottomless Lakes State Park, but we couldn't stop by due to lack of time. 

I suggest that you check Bottomless Lake state park if you get time. Bottomless Lakes State Park has 9 small and deep lakes which are around 18 miles from Roswell in Pecos river valley. There are options to hike around the lake.

Downtown and Alien Stuff

The whole downtown is filled with pictures of Aliens, almost before every store. McDonald's and KFC's also changed their architecture with Space and Alien themes. 

Alien Zone (Area 51 museum) and UFO Space Walk are worth a visit if you want to take a selfie with Aliens :p

We started from Roswell to Santa Fe around noon and by the time we reached Santa Fe, the weather was pleasant. So, we decided to visit Bandelier National monument before signing off for the day.

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National monument protects around 33,000 acres of land with ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs. This is a fun and educational place for kids to hike and learn. 

Bandelier National Monument


The ancient Pueblo people lived here around 1150 CE in dwellings constructed from Volcanic tuff. The cliffs of Frijoles Canyon were created from the ash of massive volcanic eruptions from the Jemez mountains. 

A million years ago, A volcano erupted spewing a lot of Volcanic ash. After the magma is emptied, it collapsed down to a circular depression called Caldera. Bandelier is located near this caldera known as Valles Caldera. After the ash is cooled, it became a soft and light rock called tuff. Ancestor pueblo people used these tuff rocks to build their dwellings. 

Bandelier National Monument

Hiking in Bandelier National monument with kids

I have read in multiple articles that kids will surely enjoy hiking in Bandelier. We took the 1.2-mile main ruin trail. This trail takes 45 mins to 1 hr, covering around 21 numbered stops and some of them are Big kiva, talus house, and Longhouse. 

There are some ladders to climb and see cavates (small human-made alcoves). Kids enjoyed climbing them and this trail is good and easy for kids.

Bandelier National Monument

We wanted to take 2.9 mile Upper falls trail to watch waterfalls, but couldn't do as the trail is closed due to icy conditions. The alcove house trail seemed tough with kids due to 140 ft. vertical ladders. 

The drive back to Santafe is also beautiful from Bandelier National monument. We saw many burnt trees on the way. Fire danger seems to be high here.

Bandelier National Monument

I suggest you visit Valles Caldera recreational area and Jemez falls if you can. We couldn't do them as we were tired and it was becoming dark. Anderson Overlook, White rock overlook, and Bradbury Science museum are worth a visit if you have time. 

We reached the hotel by 7pm itself and we could taste the awesome dosas from "Paper Dosa" restaurant. This restaurant has become our favorite in Santa Fe and we are going to visit this every time we travel through Santa Fe from now onwards.

Paper Dosa

The Plan for the next day is to hike the famous tent rocks. More details in my next travelogue. 

This is our second visit to Santa Fe and so, we have already visited some good places here. Read this travelogue to know more about the best places to visit in Santa Fe

Until next time,

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Roswell and Bandelier National Monument

Accommodations near Roswell, NM


  1. Looks like a fun place. Would love to visit the alien land some day. Thanks for the virtual tour 😊

    1. Thanks Dashy. Yes, fun place to spend a day.

  2. I read this post along with my son because he is interested in aliens. He said it is a shame we do not live in the US else we could have gone and visited the UFO museum. And three cheers for the Paper Dosa restaurant from my dosa eater kid.

    1. Ha ha.. for kids, this place is interesting eventhough I felt, it's a bit commercialized. Your son will love paper dosa for sure.

  3. Wow!!UFO museum, UFO themed architecture of KFC. I would have loved this place. I just have one request, please make the image sizes a bit bigger so that we can have a virtual tour. A bigger image would give a better 'feel' of the place. Thank you.

    1. Recently changed my blogger template and image size problem might have come again. Will they to fix it, thanks for pointing out Balaka.

  4. So cool. And the paper dosas? Indian food has really gone places!


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