The Petroglyph National Monument is a significant landmark located along New Mexico's West Mesa. This volcanic escarpment, made of basalt, provides a stunning view of the western horizon of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Established on June 27, 1990, the monument is managed by the National Park Service and the city of Albuquerque. It's a unique destination that offers a blend of natural beauty and historical significance.
The Petroglyph National Monument serves as a protective area for various cultural and natural elements. It houses five volcanic cones, hundreds of archaeological sites, and an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 images engraved by indigenous peoples and early Spanish settlers. These images are a legacy of a people who have long since migrated to other regions. The monument ensures the preservation of these petroglyphs for visitors and future generations to appreciate.
The petroglyphs at the monument were created using the contrast between the original gray basalt and the darker desert varnish. The oldest of these engravings are estimated to date back to 2000 BC, but most seem to have been created between 1300 and 1690 AD. These images depict animals, people, various signs and crosses; some are more complex. Their meaning was likely only understood by the person who engraved them, but they may have played a role in traditional ritual ceremonies.
Nature & Natural History
Park District - Boca Negra Canyon: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Daily
Park District - Rinconada Canyon: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
Park District - Volcanoes Day Use Area: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Daily
Check website for Closure and Seasonal Exception details.
No entrance fee.
6510 Western Trail NW, Albuquerque
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