MetroABQ Blog

Piedras Marcadas Canyon -- Humanoid Petroglyphs Part I

Among The Piedras Marcadas Petroglyphs

One of the Westside's Unique Canyons...

Albuquerque has some pretty amazing natural features. A mile west of the Rio Grande, molten lava from a long-extinct volcano formed a gash across the landscape,separating the mesa from the river valley. The wall of basalt rocks created between the two is called the Escarpment. For thousands of years, Puebloans& other indigenous groups have been living in the Rio Grande Valley. Along the length of the 17-mile long Escarpment, starting south of Paradise Blvd,the inhabitants left behind many hundreds of expressive & intriguing petroglyph images. The Petroglyph National Monument is one of the jewels of theWestside.

From the National Parks Service Petroglyph website: Petroglyph National Monument protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in North America, featuring designs & symbols carved onto volcanic rocks by Native American settlers 400 to 700 years ago. These images are a valuable record of cultural expression and hold profound spiritual significance for contemporary Native Americans.

The northernmost canyon formed by the escarpment is called Piedras Marcadas, or Marked Rocks. An easy-to walk trail follows along the base of the Escarpment deep into the canyon & past 700+/- year old symbolic artwork. The array of geometric designs, & humanoid & wildlife images along the canyon rock walls is stunning. It's only about 3/4th of a mile to the back of the canyon; however, by the time you have been there & back, you feel like you've been witness to dozens of hundred-year-old adventures.

Some geometric petroglyphs.


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