"Petroglyph National Monument" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos


Petroglyph National Monument was established in 1990 to protect an area with hundreds of archaelogical sites containing about 25,000 petroglyphs (stone etchings) made over a 12,000-year period by the Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. The petroglyphs depict animals, people, handprints, celestial symbols, and complex geometric designs.

The national monument is 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) in area and stretches 17 miles (27 kilometers) along West Mesa, a basaltic escarpment located just to the west of Albuquerque. The area is characterized by ancient lava flows and extinct volcanic cones.

A visitors' center provides maps and other information about the site, and has a picnic area, restrooms, and drinking water. Visitors can walk three different trails which wind among the old lava flows and around the extinct volcanic cones to view the petroglyphs.

Directions: Petroglyph National Monument is located at 6001 Unser Boulevard, northwest of Albuquerque.

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  • Updated Dec 7, 2010
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