Petroglyph National Monument is a relatively new park, that did not exist when I was a kid. I have been to Albuquerque, a number of times but have never had the chance to explore this park. Have you? What’s your favorite thing to do here?
The Petroglyph National Monument is a 17-mile long park, encompassing approximately 7,236 acres, protecting one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America. This park is located on the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This area has a long history of being used by Native peoples for prayers, offerings, gathering of medicinal plants, and is considered sacred to dozens of tribes in the Southwest. The name Petroglyph National Monument reflects the monument’s greatest treasure, an estimated 25,000 images carved by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks. This park is a day-use park, which means the visitor center and trailhead parking lots close at 4:30pm.
There are three trails that allow for petroglyph viewing. These trails are:
Boca Negra Canyon – See up to 100 petroglyphs during a 1 hour walk. This trail is recommended for those who are not hikers, have limited time or physical limitations. This trail is great for families. Please note there is an entrance parking fee at Boca Negra Canyon, $1 weekdays or $2 weekends for automobiles and RVs.
Rinconada Cannyon – See up to 300 petroglyphs during a 2.2 mile hiking loop. This trail is recommended for those who are prepared for a hike (good shoes and water), want to hike with a dog (on a leash) and want a more natural setting for petroglyphs. Bring your binoculars.
Piedras Marcadas Cayon – See up to 400 petroglyphs during a 1.5 mile hike. This trail is recommended for those who are prepared for a hike (good shoes and water), want to hike with a dog (on a leash) and don’t mind driving about 6.5 miles from the visitor center to reach the trailhead.
—– Location —-
The Monument’s visitor center is located on the west side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is important to know that there are no petroglyph viewing trails located at the visitor center. Each of the petroglyph viewing trails is a one-mile to a 6.5-mile drive from the visitor center. From Interstate 40 take the Unser Blvd. exit (#154) and proceed north 3 miles to Western Trail. Turn left or west onto Western Trail and follow the road to the visitor center parking lot. From Interstate 25 take the Paseo del Norte exit (#232) and proceed west to Coors Road exit south. Proceed south on Coors Road to Western Trail. Turn right or west onto Western Trail and follow the road to the visitor center. You can fly into Albuquerque from all of the larger cities airports.
—- Park Camping —-
There is no camping at this national monument, however, there are several campsites around the area.
—- Free Camping —-
Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Petroglyph%20National%20Monument there are 14 free camping sites with 50 miles of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
—- Area Camping —-
—- Things to do —-
Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is located in the central region of the state along the Rio Grande. There is an abundance of things to do in Albuquerque. Whether you’re taking a scenic hot air balloon flight over the city, mountain biking in the Sandia foothills, hiking through history, kayaking the waters of the legendary Rio Grande, or strolling through Old Town, you’ll find Albuquerque offers a real breath of fresh air. Don’t miss the great views of the city below by taking a ride on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway as it climbs to the 10,378-foot peak of the Sandia Mountains—an ideal spot for taking in the Albuquerque sunsets.
—- References —-