Saturday, August 22, 2015

Petroglyph National Monument

 Petroglyph National Monument
Rinconada Canyon

On July 5, we visited the area of Petroglyph National Monument
called "Boca Negra Canyon". 

For some reason, I had thought that Boca Negra Canyon
had a dirt trail up the mesa with some rocks on the sides of the trail.

Boca Negra Canyon
No such luck. In reality, 
Boca Negra Canyon is a mesa hillside covered with 
volcanic rock. The trails are a climb through these rocks.

Boca Negra Canyon

The rewards for the exploration are finding many petroglyphs.
 There are carvings into the rocks from 1300-1650.

Boca Negra Canyon

Today, I stopped by the visitor center
on the way to Rinconada Canyon.
The ranger gave me a map, and let me know that the
petroglyphs aren't visible from the trail for the first two-thirds of a mile.

Rinconada Canyon is a canyon surrounded by the mesa
on three sides and the highway on the fourth side.

The trail is a loop through the canyon,
reaching to the far end of the mesas on the west.

We set out by mid morning to avoid the heat
later in the day. But, it was around 80 degrees
in the city by the time we left 2 hours later. 
I don't know how warm it was in the canyon,
but notice that this was also a treeless hike with no shade.

It is a location in the Petroglyph National Monument
where visitors walk on a dirt path through the canyon
and do not climb up the mesa hillside among the rocks.

The northern edge of the trail leading to the petroglyphs
is lined with a wire fence to allow the area beyond the trail
to grow back.

Near the canyon trail entrance.
August 22, 2015

One of the reasons that I wanted to visit Rinconada Canyon at this time
is that I drive past it on the highway every day when I go to work.
With an abundance of rain this summer, the usually brown brush around
the petroglyphs has turned green and I wanted to photograph it
before it turns brown again.

Similar location as above photo;
what it normally looks like here.

Ella and I courageously proceeded along the trail
despite the heat and lack of shade. Although I could have walked
just far enough in to photograph the growth in the canyon,
I committed myself to walking the full 2 1/2 mile trail.

The mesa hillsides with the black volcanic rock still amaze me.

Are we there yet?
I thought we were going to see some petroglyphs.

Look! Here they are!!!!

Let's keep going!

We are almost to the western end of the canyon.

Do you see the pictures on the rocks?

Most of the carved images were created by the Pueblo people
and some nearby tribes that traveled through the area. About 5% of the images
were carved by the early Spaniards. These crosses are among
the images created by Spaniards.

Look how far we have come!

Keep your eyes open for more petroglyphs!

The most visible petroglyphs were along the back mesa wall
before the trail loops back toward the parking lot.

We successfully made it to the back end of the loop, and it was time
to walk back to the car.

Look how far we have already walked away from the back mesa hill!

The canyon is so green!

Are were there yet?


The Petrogylph National Monument is owned and operated
by the National Park Service and by the City of Albuquerque.
August 25 is the 99th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Our friend Inky has really enjoyed her visits to many National Parks.
She introduced us to the Junior Ranger Program.

I enjoy her blog entries about her National Park adventures,
including her trip to the Petroglyph National Monument.

Inky's Junior Ranger Blog:

Inky at Petrogylph National Monument:

Petroglyph National Monument Video:

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