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Rinconada Canyon - Petroglyph National Monument

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Petroglyphs, great hike for the family
Near:Albuquerque, NM
Distance:2.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:200 ft
Hike Time:1.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail

Summary: Starting off from the trailhead you skirt along the right side of the canyon / mesa. Along the trail you'll notice many petroglyphs etched into the dark rocks from various people groups and cultures ranging from Native Americans, Spanish settlers, and American ranchers. The trail is a loop or you could make an out and back hike. While the first half of the trail you're hiking right next to the canyon / mesa side but if you do the loop the trail heads right through the middle of the canyon on the way back. On the way back you're too far to see the petroglyphs. This is a great hike with nothing too strenuous as far as elevation gain. A great hike for families and petroglyph viewing. Be sure to visit the visitor center a mile up the road and the other places to hike at the National Monument.
Trailhead: From I-40 exit onto Unser Boulevard (exit # 154) west of Albuquerque and head north. After a little over 2 miles you'll come to St. Joseph Avenue which is a cross street. Take a left onto it and you'll immediately be at the parking lot and trailhead of the Rinconada Canyon trail. One mile up the road on Unser Boulevard past the trailhead is the Petroglyph National Monument visitor center. Turn left at Western Trail and follow the signs to the visitor center. (Lat:35.12701 Lon:-106.72544)
Trail Guides for Rinconada Canyon - Petroglyph National Monument:
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Petroglyph National Monument - (505) 899-0205 -
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Sean Benesh, who has posted  21 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Submit your own review
Reviewed by bd on 11/27/2011
Very easy hike, 1 hr round trip at a stroll. Parking lot closes at 5pm, and all visitors are expected to leave before dark. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed. Bikes are not allowed. Rangers say that things frequently get stolen from cars in the Rinconada trail head's parking lot, so put everything out of site before setting out.

Reviewed by KFD on 7/13/2008
This is one of the best petroglyphs Hikes in this park. This is an easy trail for most people. My mom is not an outdoor type and she's in her 60's and handled it well. There are tons of glyphs, but you have to slow down and look. Many of the glyphs are ontop of the rocks or behind them or up the ridge a ways, but there are many. Also, there are great views of the city and the mountains and it is easy to get to. It is just south of the Petroglyphs Visitors center on the west side of Unser Blvd. Best of all it is Free. Most of the Park is except Boca Negra, which is my least favorite of the glyph sites. This is a big park ask questions and spend time checking things out, you'll be glad you did.

Reviewed by MD on 3/4/2008
Hiked this on a blustery wintery weekend day. There was very little to see, mainly because I think I'd anticipated many more petroglyphs. It looks like this might be a nicer hike in the spring or warm weather, keeping in mind that there are a LOT of snake holes.

Reviewed by S. Mitchell on 11/26/2006
Awesome hike for us Easterners. I had the fortune to be in your area this fall and found your hike on the website. I am also a reporter for Local Hikes. Check out my hikes from Greenville SC. Thanks for a great hike. Shaun Mitchell

Reviewed by Erica on 6/10/2004
I feel SO fortunate to have access to this canyon. It's close to home in the city, yet tucked away from the sound of it. Hardly ever busy, I feel likes it's my own personal refuge. There are multiple shades of purple, yellow, pink, blue, and white desert flowers - a treat for the eye. Song birds sing sweetly, and the occassional sight of a hawk, rabbit,lizard, red velvet ant,or even a rattler makes me smile. The petroglpyhs are incredible and I can't help but feel physically refreshed and optimistic after being here.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: New Mexico Hiking, New Mexico Trails, New Mexico Hikes, Bernalillo County Hiking, Bernalillo County Trails, Bernalillo County Hikes

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