Sarah and I arrived early at the Bandelier Visitor Center to do a trail run to Painted Cave. There was only one other car in the parking lot when we started at 7:15 A.M.
The trail climbs steeply out of Frijoles Canyon.
Once on top of the mesa, the trail flattens out, making for some really nice running.
We then had to cross Alamo Canyon, which has a remarkable trail cut into the canyon walls.
We then headed south along the Alamo Rim trail. The trail was quite difficult to follow, but we were eventually greeted with great views of the Rio Grande.
cool tent rock formations along the trail
After dropping off the end of the Alamo Rim, we made our way to the lower reaches of Capulin Canyon.
After heading up Capulin Canyon for a couple miles, we finally reached our destination, Painted Cave.
We were shocked to see just how well the petroglyphs have survived.
We continued up Capulin Canyon, stopping to filter water before climbing up onto the surrounding mesa.
Sarah leading the way out of Capulin Canyon
We stopped by the Yapashi ruins, but we were so tired by this point that we didn't spend much time checking them out.
We had to cross back through Alamo Canyon. The second passing was much more painful than the first.
Sarah going strong on the ascent of the opposite side
We made it back to the Visitor Center around 1:45 P.M., making for a total time of 6.5-hours and ~23-miles.