Petroglyph National Monument

This site protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in America, and it features designs and symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Spanish settlers and Native Americans 400 to 700 years ago. These petroglyphs are valuable records of profound spiritual significance and cultural expression for contemporary Native Americans and the descendants of the Spanish settlers.

Petroglyph National Monument is like no other National Park site, where visitor begins their route on trails that start and end at the visitor center. This park does not have any trails within the visitor center area. The petroglyphs visitor center is an information center where you can find the park brochure and trail maps. So, if you go to the visitor center, be prepared to drive to a trail system to see the famous petroglyphs.

The monument is live with the sound and sights of the high desert- a roadrunner dashing into a fragrant sage, a desert millipede traces waves in the sand, and a hawk spirals down from the mesa top. This site contains over 20,000 pecked images in stone. Some are easily recognized as people, animals, or crosses, and others are more complex; their meaning may have been only underwood by the carver. All these images are inseparable from the spirits of the people who craved them, from the more significant cultural landscape, and from all who appreciate them. The images carved onto these rocks provide an opportunity for people today to share the culture of those who long traveled and inhibited through the Rio Grande Valley.

This place protects one of the biggest petroglyph sites and various cultural and natural resources, including hundreds of archeological sites, five volcanic cones, and over 25,000 images craved by native people and Spanish settlers.