picnic benches in Bandelier National Monument

2 Picnicking Spots You Want to Check Out This Summer

Picnicking is a Long-established American Pastime

With so many outstanding national and local parks sprinkled throughout the country, there’s no excuse not to grab a cooler and pack some snacks for an outdoor feast. Start by reacquainting yourself with the basics (read: how to prepare, what to pack, etc.) and then get your imagination running with possibilities! Check out these two national parks which offer unforgettable picnicking accommodations.

Bandelier National Monument

Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico

This squirrel-filled park in New Mexico includes 2 picnic areas, one of which includes grills. We ask that you refrain from feeding the bushy-eared Albert’s squirrels, no matter how much they beg.

With over 70 miles of trails in Bandelier National Monument’s, you are bound to find one that suits you. The Main Loop Trail is a favorite, as it provides the option to go to Alcove House.  This home was reconstructed from when the Ancestral Pueblo people lived here. To reach the house you must first climb up 4 wooden ladders and a set of stone stairs, making your way 140 feet up the canyon wall.

Burnt Mesa Trail is also a great post-picnic option. A short flat trail perfect for summer, this 2.5-mile round trip gives you the opportunity to see wildflowers, birds, and butterflies.

Colorado National Monument

Hosting a large group can be tricky but the Colorado National Monument  offers several short hiking trails. Whether you choose to chow before or after grilling with the crew, check out Serpents Trail, or the “Crookedest Road in the World” and get the full view of the area.

However, if you’re interested in something more leisurely, Alcove Nature Trail is another scenic option. This trail is great for families with small children and acts as a perfect introduction to the park’s flora and fauna.

Colorado National Monument

Courtesy of the National Park Foundation

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