El Morro National Monument Things to Do
In order to get to the cliff where the inscriptions are you must walk for about ten minutes or so. It is not a strenuos walk, and everyone should be able to get up there without much effort. Along the way you will see some indian ruins. The view is nice, if it is hot, don't forget some water. There are no toilet facilities at the rock, only at the...more
A'tsin'na is Zuni for "place of writings on rock". No, I don't think this was the original name of this Anasazi settlement, but it is the name provided by their Zuni decendents. Partially excavated in the 1950's, and still being studies today, these ruins provide a glimpse into the lives of the 1000-1500 indigenous people who built this 875 room...more
El Morro National Monument Transportation
Drive baby, drive ...
El Morro is about 125 miles from Albuquerque, 42 miles from Grants, and 56 miles from Gallup .... a bit out of the way for today's roadtrips down I-40. Being out of the way, there are no buses or trains that will bring you to El Morro. Behind the wheel of a car, or on your motorcycle, are the only ways to reach this wonderful place. A plus for this is the solitude you'll experience as you wander the trails of the park.
From I-40, go south on Hwy 53 (at Grants) ... about 42 miles later you'll come to the park entrance. Though you'll begin to see the limestone cliffs about 15 miles sooner than your arrival.
Enjoy the journey into rural New Mexico, perhaps even wander into El Malpais to explore the ancient lava flows on your way to El Morro ........Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
El Morro National Monument Warnings and Dangers
Though it may seem silly or overly controlling, there are good reasons for the signs asking visitors to remain on established paths ... simply walking through the region can cause significant damage ... seems wierd until you learn about the soil .....Regardless of the color .. desert soil is unique. Cryptobiotic soil is a living entity unto itself....more
Though most of us think of rocks as fairly permanent parts of our environment ..... like other living things they change over time. Water erodes the surface and changes the shape. Movements from within mother earth change the location of one object in relation to another. Heat and cold cause contraction and expansion. It seems each of these...more
One wonderful aspect of the Mesa Top trail is the trail itself! Traversing the limestone mesa top, there is no paving or other usual trail markings. Though parts of the path have been carved more deeply into the limestone, most of the path is not easily seen. The trail is designated by shallow lines carved into the mesa's surface ... and by cairn's...more
El Morro National Monument Off The Beaten Path
Wandering into Zuni Pueblo ...
After our fine afternoon walking through El Morro, we decided to continue our wandering a little longer. Being Sunday, and dusk, we weren't expecting much to be open. We were pleasently surprised to find one particular store open ... seemingly just for us!
My traveling companion desperately wanted caffeine ... and free coffee seemed to fit the bill. Instead of just coffee, we were both offered cans of soda AND bottled water as we browsed. I fell in love w/ one particular item ... a teeney little needlepoint turquiose piece that was much more than I originally intended to spend ..... after working out a 35% discount, my little jewel came home w/ me!
Okay, some of you might feel this should be a shopping tip ... but I since it isn't shopping IN El Morro .... you'll just have to deal w/ my own interpretation :)
The items here give insight into the artistic culture of the Zuni's .... woven rugs, turquiose and silver jewelry, leather goods, pottery, and hospitality are all part of the artistry of the Zuni people ... and in this one, unexpected location I experienced them all.
So if time and timing permits a side journey into Zuni ... travel the 60 miles further West down Hwy 53 from El Morro .... just to say you came to Zuni ... if nothing else.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip