Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thousands of petroglyphs, wildlife, volcanoes
Depends on what trails you hike. Some trails are short and others are more than a mile in length
Welcome in all areas except the Boca Negra Canyon area. Must be leashed.
No entrance fees except for the Boca Negra Canyon which is $1 per single vehicle on the weekdays and $2 on the weekends. Commercial vehicle prices are from $25-50 depending on how many passengers you have.
Spring or Fall. Summer is really hot
Open year round.
Very little shade
Good dirt trails
At the Visitor Center, Boca Negra Canyon, Rinconada Canyon and also the Volcano area.
Yes. Please check out the GPS Coordinates above.
Bring your own meals and snacks
Bring a hat, sunglasses, good hiking shoes, water and camera.
Petroglpyh National Monument (Visitor Center): 35.138869°, -106.711117°
Volcanoes: 35.135890°, -106.772443°
Piedras Marcadas Canyon – parking lot: 35.188681°, -106.685697°
Boca Negra Canyon: 35.160959°, -106.718309°
Rinconada Canyon: 35.125252°, -106.733173°
Directions to the Visitor Center.
NOTE – If you put in “Petroglyph National Monument” to your GPS you might be led to the national monument headquarters. This is NOT the Visitor Center. Please use the GPS coordinates above for the Visitor Center to find the correct area.
Petroglyph National Monument is located on the west side of Albuquerque New Mexico which features more than 25,000 petroglpyhs. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore all of the trails (we were trying to fit this trek in before we went to the airport) but we did stop at Piedras Marcadas Canyon and also the Visitor Center. I would like to come back to check out the volcanoes and more of the petroglyphs.
The monument is set up in a few areas with the largest being where the Visitor Center is located. The entire monument is located right next to houses and subdivisions so it’s kind of strange to walk behind someone’s home exploring the petroglyphs but we thoroughly enjoyed the sheer amount of rock art which was literally everywhere. It seemed that every rock had some sort of drawing on it from hand prints, faces, depictions of the sun, moon, stars and more.
We learned that the drawings were carved by Native Americans and also the Spanish explorers.
We started exploring from the Piedras Marcadas Canyon area. This parking lot was kind of hard to find but we had a GPS unit and when we plugged in “Petroglyph National Monument” it gave us the location to the park headquarters which is NOT the visitor center. The Piedras Marcadas Canyon parking lot is located adjacent to a few businesses and even a large subdivision. You will see the national monument sign along with some information kiosks so you will know that you are in the right area.
There is an easy loop trail here which I recommend you do. Once you get out of the parking lot you will turn left and you will simply follow the base of the mesa and explore around seeing all of the incredible petroglyphs. I took so many pictures of the rock art but I will just post the more interesting petroglyphs here.
As you hike around on the trail, you will find other information posts that explain about the petroglyphs and the people who carved them – very interesting stuff!
On a side note, we also got great views of the city!
We then found the correct location for the Visitor Center and proceeding to drive there next. It was about a 15 minute drive from Piedras Marcadas Canyon. There were two ladies on staff who were very helpful and friendly and answered all of our questions and loved chatting about the rock art. The Visitor Center has displays, books, a gift shop, restrooms and sitting areas for you to enjoy.
Head back towards your car.
It’s too bad we didn’t have more time here. I would have loved to continue exploring the rest of the places that the monument had to offer. This was a fun place to hike around and climb on the rocks seeing all the petroglyphs.