El Morro National Monument - Cibola County, New Mexico

A Special Place In Northwest New Mexico
David Herrera and I wanted to get out of Albuquerque, and our adventure became a day trip to the west. Our hikes and exploration of El Morro National Monument was probably the best highlight. Honestly, some of our delight in El Morro might have been fueled by its free admission, for we had just spent a whopping $12 fee at the underwhelming Bandera Volcano & Ice Caverns.

El Morro National Monument is worthy of a visit. Hiking trails lead to a Native pueblo ruin, pretty cliffs, and historic rock inscriptions. I'll do a "hack job" explaining the fascinating history of this location, but I'll try anyway: Back in the day, travelers heading to say, Zuni to Albuquerque, did not encounter much water on their long journey. Dehydration and death were real threats. However, at the base of these cliffs is a pond where many would stop for the water. First it was the Native Americans in ancient days. Then the Spaniards came beginning in the late 1500s. Lastly, Americans arrived during the Civil War era. Many inscripted their names on the rock. It's like a little bit of history.

El Morro National Monument, NM
Pretty rock cliffs. I was not disappointed in the scenery at this park. :)

Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

El Morro N.M. Sign


June 10, 2015 - El Morro National Monument is on Highway 53 between Zuni and Grants in New Mexico. You can't miss it.
El Morro National Monument, NM

El Morro National Monument, NM

El Morro's rock walls reminded me of Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs and Potash Road in Moab.

The rock is pretty unto itself for sure ...

Pond Water ... and then there's a strange pond of water!

Notice the willows on the edge. :)

The 0.5 mile loop trail beginning at the visitor center takes one to the base of the rock, the pond, and line of inscriptions.

The Natives made petroglyphs.

The Spaniards wrote in an interesting script. (I was told there are POEMS on the wall!)

The Americans during the Civil War era made their mark.

Quotes Great quotes about El Morro National Monument and the beauty of the Southwest.
Sagebrush in Desert Sagebrush in the desert.
There is another decent trail named the Headland Trail. You can take a two-mile loop around the entire rock.

With limited time, we merely hiked 0.5 miles to the Atsinna Pueblo Ruins. I can vouch that the walk is worth it!

El Morro National Monument The trail leads on top of the rock, giving you a view of the cliffs you were admiring from below.
Atsinna Pueblo Ruins, NM And then Dave and I arrived at the Atsinna Pueblo. Neat place!


Doing my best to show you around. Subscribe to my YouTube videos: /kisscactus.

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