Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque, NM

1 04 2023

On Friday, we spent the day in the Albuquerque area. Tully suggested a nearby hike amongst the petroglyphs. It’s less than 30 minutes from downtown, and very impressive! It is Petroglyph National Monument. The site, set amongst a volcanic feature named Albuquerque West Mesa, is 17 miles long and is estimated to contain more than 24,000 petroglyphs! The size is 7,236 acres. The mesa was created by volcanic activity 200,000 years ago. Its Gylphs were created by Pueblo people and Spanish settlers. The weather for our hike was classic early spring desert. Completely variable! Sun, then wind, then graupel snow, back and forth, even thunder! The last half of our hike was driving graupel. Graupel can be described as “snow pellets,” or “styrofoam snow.” By the end we were soaked through! But we caught glimpses of really cool petroglyphs.

Interpreting the rock drawings leaves much to the imagination. We guessed we saw crows, hawks, hummingbirds, Ibis, antelopes, snakes, bisons, people in costumes, fish, turtles, and quite a few what might be described as whirlpools or labyrinths. Also there were several crucifixes. The petroglyphs are estimated to have been drawn between 400 – 700 years ago.

I’d recommend visiting if you are in the Albuquerque area!


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