Plan the Ultimate National Park Adventure for National Park Week

Published on April 02, 2024

Couple at a National Park in Los Alamos County

Explore Los Alamos, New Mexico— Gateway to Three National Parks

For National Park enthusiasts, April 20–28—National Park Week—is the ideal time to explore National Park sites. The week serves as a celebration of the national treasures and landscapes designated as National Park Service units. During National Park Week, entrance fees are waived on Saturday, April 20, allowing visitors to enjoy and experience the parks free of charge. This National Park Week, Los Alamos, New Mexico, invites avid explorers to enjoy three National Parks in one trip.

Known as the Gateway to Three National Parks, Los Alamos serves as a hub for those seeking to explore nearby parks— Bandelier National Monument, Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and Valles Caldera National Preserve.

“We hope everyone willing takes the opportunity to explore the wealth of natural beauty, history, and culture in our area, with incredible National Park sites just a five-minute walk to a thirty-minute drive from downtown Los Alamos,” said Ellyn Felton, Marketing Specialist for Los Alamos County. “From a supervolcano to ancient cliff dwellings and buildings where scientists met in secret during World War II, there’s something for every type of explorer.”

To make the most of your National Park Week visit, plan to explore all three National Parks.

Imagine life as a cliff dweller at Bandelier National Monument. A favorite destination of locals and visitors alike, Bandelier is known for its incredible preservation of the homes of ancient Puebloan cliff dwellers. Additionally, Bandelier features hiking trails, campgrounds, wildlife viewing, and petroglyphs.

Explore one of only seven supervolcanoes in the world at Valles Caldera National Preserve. With more than 89,000 acres of sprawling landscapes, Valles Caldera is a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and wildlife, Valles Caldera is the place to unplug and reconnect with nature. Additionally, consider staying in the park after dark for nighttime programming to experience the stunning views of an International Dark Sky Park.

Dive into the world of Oppenheimer and discover the Secret City at Manhattan Project National Historical Park. For history buffs, fans of the film Oppenheimer, and scientific minds, look no further than Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Here, visitors can learn about the people and places behind the Manhattan Project through self-guided walking tours. Visitors will venture through the History Museum campus and down the legendary Bathtub Row, where Manhattan Project scientists and Nobel Prize winners lived. As part of the experience, explore the always-free, award-winning Bradbury Science Museum with replicas of the Little Boy and Fat Man atomic bombs.

Prior to visiting all parks, be sure to call ahead or check the park’s website for visiting hours, updates, and closures. Additionally, Visit Los Alamos reminds all visitors to adhere to leave no trace rules to help preserve these treasures for future generations. 

For those planning a National Park Week getaway, plan to visit Bandelier on Saturday, April 20, to enjoy a fee-free day. Explore the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and Valles Caldera National Preserve, which are currently fee-free, on any of the remaining days.

After your days of exploring the parks, Los Alamos County offers a friendly atmosphere, as well as great places to dine and drink, museums, and more. To plan your visit, go to https://visitlosalamos.org.