There are so many places that I have visited and loved in New Mexico, and the most recent is El Morro National Monument.
Located just outside the Zuni Pueblo, El Morro is a sandstone rock formation with a waterhole at its base meaning that it was once a resting point for travelers as evidenced by the couple of thousand inscriptions in the rock where people carved their names and sometimes their stories as they passed by.
The sandstone geology means that the nature of El Morro is changing with the weather and at some point those inscriptions will be lost so they are working to preserve what they can.
We chose to do the long hike up to the top of the rocks to see the ruins of the old pueblo Atsinna and round Box Canyon before descending down to the inscriptions. On the advice of a friend, we tackled the trail backwards which did seem to be a good decision.
Being in New Mexico, the weather was perfect – blue skies, white fluffy clouds and sunshine but thankfully not too hot – and the hike itself was energetic enough to burn off the fantastic brunch we had had at the Ancient Way Café.
Zuni is not the most touristy Pueblo I’ve visited but it has its own charm. I was there visiting a friend and getting the tour from a local always makes a difference. Zuni is located right by the Arizona border so I also managed to do a little state-hopping with very little effort. As I’ve already visited Phoenix and Tucson, it didn’t add to my state count though, I’m still stuck on ten (I wonder which will be next? Maybe Alaska?). There are another attractions near Zuni and El Morro that I would like to do another time like the Ice Caves and the Wolf Sanctuary but I do always like to have reasons to go back to places I love.
I think my favorite part about El Morro was the trees. And the petrified wood in particular added some great shapes to the spectacular scenery.
If you are ever visiting New Mexico, I can give you a phonebook of things you should do but I would definitely recommend El Morro if you are passing through that part of the state.