El Morro National Monument
As a road tripper, I try to stay off the interstates and main highways…discovering El Morro is a perfect example of why I do this. Located in west central New, Mexico, along an ancient trail off highway 53, is this historic site that was once home to 1500 Zuni Indians from about 1275 to 1350 A.D.
El Morro National Monument is a wonderful example of why New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment. The area is surrounded by soaring sandstone bluffs that rise more than 200 feet from the valley floor. After a leisurely hike, you’ll reach the summit of a mesa where you’ll discover a fascinating mixture of both human and natural history, which includes the remnants of a pueblo that housed Native Americans who once inhabited the area.
I had driven by El Morro once before, but just didn’t have the time to stop. I’m so glad I did this go-round. It’s a vortex that draws the curious. Around each bend, or elevation, I found myself being lured into the heart of of this majestic landscape…interested in seeing what was just beyond. The views are simply stunning, as are the varying rock formations. There are so many vantage points, each offering another unique perspective of El Morro.
If you keep your eyes open, you’ll run across a number of petroglyphs (images carved into the sandstone). The softness of the sandstone made it easy for the early people to carve pictures and symbols into the rocks. Today, the park protects over 2,000 inscriptions and petroglyphs, as well as the Ancestral Puebloan ruins.
If you’ve ever been to El Morro National Monument, please leave a comment below and share your experience with my readers and me.