Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country, with evidence of people having lived here for more than 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and masonry pueblos (villages) are evidence of the Ancestral Pueblo people whose descendants still live nearby. Most visitors begin exploring Bandelier by walking the Main Loop Trail. This short 1.2 mile loop trail starts from the Visitor Center and leads through excavated archeological sites in Frijoles Canyon. A portion of this trail is handicapped accessible. The 3 mile round-trip Falls Trail leads downcanyon from the Visitor Center to the beautiful Upper Falls, with a guidebook featuring the geology. The Tsankawi section of the park, 12 miles from the main section, offers a 1.5 mile mesa-top walk, viewing cavates, petroglyphs, the large unexcavated Ancestral Pueblo village, and wide vistas. This trail includes 4 ladders. For longer hikes, the Bandelier backcountry offers opportunities for all day or even multiple-day overnight backpacking trips. Most of the 70 miles of trails are in the officially designated Bandelier Wilderness. Free permits, required for overnight trips, are obtained in person at the Visitor Center. The Visitor Center area includes a museum, bookstore, 14-minute movie, and information, with the giftshop, snack bar, and picnic area nearby. During the busy season most visitors must take a free shuttle bus from White Rock.