Part of Main Trail at Bandelier will be closed

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By The Staff

Starting Monday and continuing for approximately four days, parts of the Main Loop Trail at Bandelier National Monument will be closed.
During the times of closures, helicopters will be carrying sling loads of dirt and gravel for a trail project at the monument. The closure is for the safety of visitors.
According to a news release from Bandelier, from 6 a.m. Monday until the completion of that portion of the work, which is scheduled to continue until Oct. 27, the Main Loop Trail will be closed from the northern edge of Tyuonyi Pueblo to the top of the stairs at Long House.
The part of the Nature Trail which parallels Frijoles Creek between the creek and the Main Loop Trail, will also be closed.
Visitors who wish to visit Long House can use the trail on the other side of the creek, which leads to Alcove House, to access the site and return.
Bandelier announced the small cavates on the cliffs just above Tyuonyi, the ones with short ladders, would also not be available during this time.  Alcove House, however, will be open.
For several weeks Bandelier National Monument staff has been working on a project to repair and rehab the Frey Trail, the historic trail leading from Juniper Campground to the bottom of Frijoles Canyon. Some of the work being done involves bringing in tons of gravel and dirt to fill in worn and eroded parts of the trail tread. This work will be done with a sling under a helicopter.
According to monument officials, it’s standard procedure to allow no one but those trained to work with helicopters underneath the aircraft or the material being carried by the sling, in case of an accident or if the pilot was forced to jettison the sling unexpectedly.
The helicopter will be working 8 hours a day and the plan is to finish the work as soon as possible.
Bandelier officials warned the work and the helicopters will cause a lot of noise in the canyon.
The Frey Trail, meanwhile will be closed from the point where it crosses the maintenance road to the bottom of Frijoles Canyon, and will reopen when it is again safe for visitors to travel the trail.
Anyone with questions about the project or the expected closures should call Bandelier’s visitor center at 672-3861, ext. 517.