Petroglyph National Monument
For nearly 17 miles, Petroglyph National Monument stretches along Albuquerque’s West Mesa. A volcanic plateau that protects five extinct volcanic cones, it’s also the canvas for more than 25,000 petroglyphs created by the Ancestral Puebloans. Though the images in these petroglyphs are often abstract, many can be recognized as humans, crosses, animals and more.
Petroglyph National Monument is actually comprised of four smaller, separate parks that are extremely close to one another. Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada, Canyon, Piedras Marcadas Canyon and Volcano Day Use trails are all part of this unique location, and ample hiking trails are available throughout to explore.
The monument’s location along the edge of Albuquerque is both unique and treacherous. Urban sprawl has forced housing developments to be built right up against the rock formations, and both the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque preserve the monument.