Exploring the Ancient Petroglyphs of Piedras Marcadas Canyon

Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico

My mom and I like to go exploring for petroglyphs. Albuquerque is host to Petroglyph National Monument and within the park there are several unique sites. Piedras Marcadas Canyon is off the beaten path and not as well known as some of the other trails. The parking lot is located at 9501 Golf Course Rd. NW, behind the Valvoline Oil Change store. Piedras Mercadas can also be found by using the following GPS coordinates: Lat: 35.188749 GPS Long: -106.685601

Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest Petroglyph sites in North America. Petroglyphs are designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rock by Native Americans and Spanish Settlers. These symbols provide an invaluable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for the living descendants of these people today.

The petroglyphs range in age from 400 – 1000 years and as you enter the canyon, it is like stepping into a time machine. The noise of the city falls away and a sense of suspended time sets in. It is easy to image what the people who drew these images saw everyday because the area has remained unchanged since these drawings were made.

With an array of stunning petroglyphs, Piedras Marcadas Canyon is well worth the hike. Visitors looking for outdoor adventures and things to do in Albuquerque should add this location to their list of places to see.

I call this one, “Thin Man At The Anteater Rodeo”. The original meaning was probably something different though.
A beautiful spiral petroglyph!
A partial spiral that seems to have a head. This one may be a snake.
If a starfish and a stingray had a baby.
From the top of Piedras Marcadas Canyon, looking across Albuquerque and the Rio Grande River Valley to the Sandia Mountains.
Sand angel of a lizard.
Volcanos on Albuquerque’s west side as seen from the top of Piedras Marcadas Canyon.
Me and my mom 🙂

Author’s Note

These photos were shot on December 21, 2018. This post was originally published on January 26, 2019.

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