how to enjoy the best visit to Petroglyph National Monument

The Southwest is home to some of North America’s richest history, and the evidence can be seen at several of our area’s historic sites and parks. One such place is Petroglyph National Park, an area dedicated to preserving the ancient stone drawings, known as petroglyphs, that were created by this region’s earliest inhabitants. During your next visit to Albuquerque, NM, here is everything you need to know about planning the perfect trip to Petroglyph National Park.

With so many incredible things to see and do in Albuquerque, NM, planning your next trip can be an overwhelming process. Luckily, we’ve already completed the research for you! All you have to do is request your free copy of our Vacation Guide and you’ll instantly receive a full list of our area’s top attractions, restaurants, entertainment, historic sites like Petroglyph National Monument, and more. It’s the only thing you’ll need to plan the perfect getaway to the Duke City!

history of Petroglyph National Monument

Also known as Petroglyph National Monument, the park’s history can be traced back nearly 400-700 years ago.  Ancestors of today’s Pueblo people created these ancient drawings on countless rock surfaces by using tools such as chisels and hammers.  These drawings were primarily made to represent their sacred beliefs and religion. Others were used to symbolize certain tribes or messages.  However, some of these symbols are still unrecognized by historians today and remain a mystery to anyone who visits.

the best things to do at Petroglyph National Monument

The park is filled with several hiking trails for you to explore while you’re here.  As you travel along these paths, you’ll be treated to numerous sightings of the ancient drawings.  The Rinconada Canyon Trail is a visitor favorite since it offers views of over 300 different petroglyphs.  The Piedras Marcadas Canyon is another fantastic trail!  Its short length and easy to moderate level of difficulty make it a wonderful option for hikers of all ages and skill levels.  You can also spend time in one of the day use areas here that feature hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and even the Petroglyph National Monument Volcanoes.

Ready to start planning your visit? Take a look at the Petroglyph National Monument map to familiarize yourself with the park and its attractions!

Location and Hours

The Petroglyph National Monument is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. all year long (with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day).  Stop by the Visitors’ Center first when you get here to get a map of all the trails and features of the area. A gated parking lot is available here as well. There is no entrance fee for this park, but there is a parking fee if you wish to park by the Boca Negra Canyon.

What to Bring With You

There isn’t much shade provided at this monument, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen.  You’ll also be doing a good amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are a necessity. Binoculars are recommended as well since some of the petroglyphs are hard to spot from a distance.  

discover the best national monument near Albuquerque during your stay

Bed in Huning Room at Bottger Mansion
Franz Huning Room

After a wonderful day of experiencing one of Albuquerque’s most intriguing historic sites, take some time to unwind in comfortable and convenient accommodations.  The Bottger Mansion of Old Town is a historic bed and breakfast in Albuquerque offering lovely rooms, outstanding amenities, and friendly hospitality.  Explore the many attractions of Albuquerque or simply relax in the peace and quiet of our shady courtyard.  You will love your time in our beautiful oasis in New Mexico, so check our availability and book your stay today!

Photo Credit: SuziMcGregor/Getty Images

Adventure Starts Here!

Give The Gift of Bottger Mansion This Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at Bottger Mansion.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.