National Parks / Natural World

Petroglyph National Monument NW Albuquerque

Where is it at?

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Petroglyph National Monument
6001 Unser Boulevard
NW Albuquerque
NM
87120
Tel: (505) 899-0205

Directions

Petroglyph National Monument is located on the North West side of Albuquerque, New Mexico. To get to the visitor center you should take I40 east or west depending on the direction you are traveling. Leave the interstate at Exit 154 traveling north on Unser Blvd. Approximatly 3.5 miles north you will find the visitor center at the junciton of Unser and Western Trail. Make a left hand turn at the light. Travel up the road to the parking lot for the visitor center. For a printable color version of park map

Where are we going today?

Petroglyph National Monument protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including volcanos, archeological sites and an estimated 20,000 carved images. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; others are more complex. These images are inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits of the people who created, and who appreciate them.
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Any Top Tips?

Dogs are welcome in Petrogylph National Monument. Petroglyph National Monument offers many scenic spots and open spaces for you and your dog to enjoy together. Whether you share a run along the volcanoes or a quiet walk in Rinconada Canyon, always be aware of your surroundings and considerate of others. It takes a cooperative effort to make the park safe and enjoyable for everyone. .

Need a little extra help?

Wheelchair sign Petroglyph National Monument is still a young unit of the system of National Parks, and is cooperatively run by the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque, Open Space Division. As such we are moderately limited on accessible features. On the other hand, each plan that is started and implemented by the National Park Service takes into account accessibility..

What people are saying?

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    Very cool. Pictures from 700 years ago pop out at you from the rocks. The feeling of centuries of history is palpable.

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    The Petroglyph National Monument far exceeded my expectations. It is absolutely beautiful! The petroglyphs are in pristine condition. There is no grafitti or other markings on the volcanic rocks. I loved it!

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    Not that good. The visitor center is great, but the monument is hard to find and there are very few petroglyphs. Hike wasn't that bad.

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    The thing is, know that the visitors Center is just a place to start and the staff here are great for that! Aside from the visitors center, there are 4 distinct, different trail loop locations. I visited Piedras Marcadas Canyon and did not see any graffiti. Finding the parking lot is surreal, located immediately behind a strip mall at the SW corner of Golf Course & Paradise Hills. Go east from here and there is a small parking lot with signage. The hike took me about 2 hours at a very leisurely pace - but the "trail" is sandy and largely not defined...Read More

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    It's a cool spot but you need to know what you're getting into. This is a quick walk through the desert. You're walking through sand and there isn't any shade to be found. There are some cool petroglyphs to check out especially if you're willing to scramble up the hill a bit. The downside is that there is a lot of graffiti. It's a bummer to see an ancient petroglyph and then a smiley face scratched into the rock right next to it. Overall it is a cool experience if you can focus on appreciating the history that still remains.

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by Chris Nyman Weller

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The thing is, know that the visitors Center is just a place to start and the staff here are great for that! Aside from the visitors center, there are 4 distinct, different trail loop locations. I visited Piedras Marcadas Canyon and did not see any graffiti. Finding the parking lot is surreal, located immediately behind a strip mall at the SW corner of Golf Course & Paradise Hills. Go east from here and there is a small parking lot with signage. The hike took me about 2 hours at a very leisurely pace - but the "trail" is sandy and largely not defined by rows of rocks, paved surface, or anything so formal as that. There are signs at key locations, but this is New Mexico. We have a distinctly under-developed infrastructure. And, us New Mexicans, we like it that way. If you ever spent time as a child living in a subdivision with acres of sandy foothills behind, (i.e. Southern California, Phoenix) exploring and making your own adventure trails... add ancient primitive rock paintings and THAT is the feel of the Petroglyphs. And, I like that! Feeling like a kid again.
PS: We are high desert - it's TOO HOT in the summer after 11am. The best time to go is early morning in Summer or mid-day in Fall & Winter. Spring can be windy, with blowing sand - not much fun.

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