Jan 09

Hiking Petroglyph National Monument

Today I visited Petroglyph National Monument and hiked two different trails.

First, I hiked into Rinconada Canyon. The canyon walls are covered with volcanic basalt rocks. A variety of peoples have carved pictures into the basalt, making the cayon an outdoor art gallery.

The trail, a 2.5-mile loop, stays close to the northern wall of the canyon so walkers can observe the carvings. It’s an easy walk, and I made frequent stops to look at carvings and take pictures. The carvings include some modern grafiti, unfortunately, as well as marks made European explorers and cowboys.

You have to look carefully for the artwork. I’m sure I missed some of it. It was useful to stop and look back to catch some pictures.

The second leg of my hike took me to three dormant volcano domes. I had to hop in the car and drive about eight miles to get to the trailhead. I walked another 2.5 miles around two of the three domes, known as the Three Sisters. A stiff wind was whipping across the plain around the domes, so I cut my walk a little short.

The view of Albuquerque from the volcanoes is spectacular. No wonder Native Americans consider it a sacred place.

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