Hiking the New Mexican desert

Albuquerque Travel Blog

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The visitor center and former home of applied anthropologist Sophie Aberle
This morning we stopped off at Einstein Bagels before heading out to Petroglyph National Monument for a good hike. The park is a few miles northwest of the city, and it was pretty easy to find thanks to road signs on the interstate and side roads. We went to the visitor center first, where the ranger pulled out a map and showed us the various trails, describing the length of the hike and what petroglyphs we'd see. We decided on the longer of the trails, a 2.5 mile trek through Rinconada Canyon. I had read reviews of this trail on this site and others, so I was on the lookout for rattlesnakes and other unsavory animals. But we only saw several jackrabbits and centipedes. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed to not see rattlesnake. I mean, I'm sure I'd be freaked out, but just to have the experience!

We were able to see quite a few petroglyphs, but we probably saw more fakes than the real ones.
On the front porch of the visitor center looking out towards Albuquerque
People throughout the years have added their own symbols like smiley faces, crosses, and the Star of David on rocks here and there. We even came across several fake drawings of Indians and horses. But what real petroglyphs we saw were pretty striking. Again, must add photos as soon as possible, so be sure to check this again in a few days! :0)

I felt like I was overheating on the trek. We started the hike around 9:30 AM when it was only 79 degrees and ended the hike around 11 AM when it was 96 degrees. Neither George nor I had ever hiked in the desert, and the next time, I will definitely wear a tank top and light shorts, plus a hat and bring more water. It was just way way too hot. I would highly recommend that if anyone hikes this trail in the middle of summer, s/he should start early in the morning or early evening.
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The visitor center and former home…
The visitor center and former hom…
On the front porch of the visitor …
On the front porch of the visitor…
The Rinconada Canyon trailhead
The Rinconada Canyon trailhead
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
You cant really see the left hand…
You can't really see the left han…
My favorite are the spirals
My favorite are the spirals
Birds feet or arrows?
Birds feet or arrows?
More spiral (center), plus a snake…
More spiral (center), plus a snak…
Some of these are easier to see in…
Some of these are easier to see i…
George hiking the canyon trail
George hiking the canyon trail
One of many centipedes along the t…
One of many centipedes along the …
The New Mexican desert
The New Mexican desert
One of many jackrabbits nibbling o…
One of many jackrabbits nibbling …
Another spiral
Another spiral
And another jackrabbit. These guys…
And another jackrabbit. These guy…
More petroglyphs.
More petroglyphs.
A snake? We didnt see any ourselv…
A snake? We didn't see any oursel…
Me hiking Petroglyph National Monu…
Me hiking Petroglyph National Mon…
My view filtered through my sungla…
My view filtered through my sungl…
Outside Albuquerque heading west o…
Outside Albuquerque heading west …
More New Mexican big sky country
More New Mexican big sky country
Ema chills out in the back seat
Ema chills out in the back seat
Albuquerque
photo by: vances