Hundreds of petroglyphs, dating from pre-contact time and the Spanish colonial era, can be found along this mesa above the Santa Fe River. Most of the petroglyphs were placed there by Keresan-speaking puebloan people living in the area between the 13th and 17th centuries. The descendants of these people now live down the Santa Fe River along the Rio Grande at the Cochiti and Santo Domingo Pueblos. The area is known for the great number of hump-backed flute player images and a great variety of bird figures. The site is also of interest to those tracing the route of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, as the ancient road passed along here as well.
Please do not climb on, touch, chalk, wet down, or do rubbings of the petroglyphs. Cultural Resources in the vicinity are fragile and irreplaceable. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 protect them for the benefit of all Americans. Any person who, without a permit, injures, destroys, excavates, appropriates, or removes any historic, or prehistoric ruin, artifact, object of antiquity, Native American remains, Native American cultural item or archaeological resource on the public lands of the United States is subject to arrest and penalty of law.
Hiking, prehistoric interpretation.
None. Restrooms and drinking water are not available.
Location / Access
La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site is very close to the city of Santa Fe. From the intersection of Airport Road and NM 599, continue west on Airport Road for 3.3 miles. There is a gravel parking area on the west side of the road and a BLM sign. Follow a trail marked by arrows for about five to ten minutes to access the basalt cliffs where the petroglyphs are located.