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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
The Tyuonyi Overlook Trail is a fantastic stroll that can be done by most hikers of any age.
The 2.5-mile loop is fairly flat, and the trail is non-technical, getting somewhat rocky near the end.
This hike is short enough to allow plenty of time for stopping and reading the interpretive signs along the way. Bandelier National Monument includes a vast wilderness with many archeological sites accessed via long hikes, or even backpacking destinations.
It also has a nicely condensed setting that contains a Visitor Center, picnic area and two campgrounds.
Many of the most fascinating Ancestral Pueblo archeological sites are easily accessible via short hikes from this central hub. The Tyuonyi Overlook Trail starts from Juniper Campground and initially crosses a broad mesa before entering a Ponderosa Pine-Pinon-Juniper woods.
Keep a lookout for the sole remaining Alligator Juniper, identifiable by its segmented bark resembling alligator skin.
There are several archeological sites along the trail, including what is thought to be an ancient shrine.
As with most trails in Bandelier, there are numerous burnt trees scattered about the landscape.
Fire has long been a part of life in the desert environment. Take the short extension to Tyuonyi Overlook, from which you can view the entire southern section of Frijoles Canyon and Tyuonyi Pueblo.
If you plan your hike for early morning, the view will be less likely to include crowds of people. The view of Tyuonyi Pueblo, way down below, is truly amazing.
While it is definitely worth the short walk from the Visitor Center to the Pueblo, the bird's-eye view is incomparable.
Tyuonyi Pueblo had as many as 400 rooms and housed about 100 people over 600 years ago! Long adventurous hikes into Bandelier's wilderness are wonderful, but be sure to make a place for the short, easy strolls that allow a glimpse of life as the Ancestral Pueblo people lived it. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/band/index.htm