Petroglyph National Monument


While I was in ABQ for the Balloon Fiesta and nearby, I decided to go check out Petroglyph National Monument. This area is reported to be “one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native Americans and Spanish settlers 400 to 700 years ago.”

Petroglyphs seem to be a big deal around here; I am still trying to catch the fever, but went to see the Monument anyway.

I started out at the Visitor Center and got a map that took me to the main petroglyph area at Boca Negra Canyon. There were three self-guided trails where you can supposedly view 200 petroglyphs. I am not quite sure if I saw all of them, but I did walk all of the trails. It took about an hour or so to see ‘everything’ (that I could see).

After that I headed out to “The Volcanoes” because I saw it on the map and I had some time. I would say, “Skip it.” The website says, “At first glance this land looks barren, covered only by sparse clumps of grasses and scrawny sagebrush.” And I would have to agree. There are no petroglyphs here, only hiking trails. And in the heat of the day with no shade, I didn’t even bother — I just kept on driving. It’s probably more enjoyable to just read about the area here: