Today the massive buildings of the Ancestral Puebloan people still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities not seen anywhere else in the American Southwest.
In the midst of piñon, juniper, and ponderosa pine woodlands of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains not far from Santa Fe, the remains of Indian pueblos stand as meaningful reminders of people who once prevailed. Pecos National Historical Park helps visitors explore the cultural exchange and geographic features that played such crucial roles in the rich history of the Pecos Valley.
This serene lake, located 25 miles west of Grants, is set in a pinon-juniper landscape with views towards the Zuni Mountains. The park offers camping, hiking, birding, horseback riding and fishing. And not just any fishing – you’ll find some of the best tiger muskie fishing at Bluewater Lake!
Located in New Mexico’s northern mountains, El Vado Lake State Park offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A 5.5-mile scenic trail along the Rio Chama connects El Vado with nearby Heron Lake. Quiet coves around the lake are great places to catch trout and kokanee salmon.
The Jemez Mountains provide the backdrop for this stunning year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. Fenton Lake State Park is a mellow mountain escape. The Rio Cebolla flows through the park and there is a fishing and canoeing lake too. The park also attracts campers, hikers and cross-country skiers.
A picturesque lake set among the tall pines of northern New Mexico, Heron Lake State Park has been designated a “quiet lake” where boats operate at no-wake speeds only, making it an excellent location for all types of paddle craft. Heron also has amazing sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in the state, with multiple campgrounds, two marinas, and two boat docks. Navajo is a haven for boaters of every stripe – motorized boaters, canoers, kayakers, water skiers and sailors. The San Juan River is a world-class fly fishing destination and features a campground, day use areas and a serene trail along the river.
Pueblo people describe this site as part of their migration journey. Today you can follow their ancient passageways to a distant time. Explore a 900-year old ancestral Pueblo Great House of over 400 masonry rooms. Look up and see original timbers holding up the roof. Search for the fingerprints of ancient workers in the mortar.
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.
The richly diverse volcanic landscape of El Malpais offers solitude, recreation, and discovery. Explore cinder cones, lava tube caves, sandstone bluffs, and hiking trails. Wildlife abounds in the open grasslands and forests. While some may see a desolate environment, people have been adapting to and living in this extraordinary terrain for generations.
Imagine the refreshment of finding water after days of dusty travel. A reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs.
Rio Puerco Field Office 100 Sun Avenue NE Albuquerque, NM 87109 35.65842306, -106.4230367 From Albuquerque, head north on I-25 and take the exit for Santo Domingo/Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Exit 259) off I-25 onto NM 22. Follow the signs on NM 22 to Cochiti Pueblo and Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument.