6001 Unser Blvd, NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120
(505) 899-0205 ext. 331
Petroglyph National Monument
protects a variety of cultural and natural resources
including volcanoes, archeological sites and an
estimated 20,000 carved images. Many of the images
are recognizable as animals, people, brands and
crosses; others are more complex. These images are
inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits
of the people who created, and who appreciate them.
Petroglyph National Monument
is located on the Westside of Albuquerque, New
Mexico. From Interstate 40 take the Unser Blvd. exit
(#154) and proceed north 3 miles to Western Trail.
Turn left or west onto Western Trail and follow road
to the visitor center. From Interstate 25 take the
Paseo del Norte exit (#232) and proceed west to
Coors Road exit south. Proceed south on Coors Road
to Western Trail. Turn right or west onto Western
Trail and follow road to the visitor center.
Las Im�genes Visitor Center
pronounced: las e-mah-hen-ness
Located 3 miles north of I-40,
at Unser Boulevard, and Western Trail, NW.
Hours of operation are 8 am to
5 pm every day throughout the year.
The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving
Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
The Visitor Center is the best
place to start your visit to Petroglyph National
Monument. Staff members are available to help orient
you for your visit to the Monument and to any
special programs that might be offered. You may pick
up free copies of the park map and park newspaper.
This building also houses some interpretive exhibits
and the park bookstore.
History of the Visitor Center
Petroglyph National Monument's
Visitor Center was once the home of an extraordinary
Dr. Sophie Aberle, known as
"Measuring Lady" by the Native Americans
she worked with, was the first practicing applied
anthropologist in the United States. Her research
focused mainly on women's lives at the pueblos,
including pregnancy, child birth, child care, diet
and healing. Because of her position as
Superintendent of the United Pueblo's Agency, she
was able to implement practices which led to better
conditions in the pueblos.
Sometime around 1954 - 1956,
Dr. Aberle and her husband, attorney William Brophy,
purchased an adobe-style home on what is now known
as Albuquerque's West Mesa. The home was first built
by Col. Alexander Stewart, in about 1948, as a
homestead property. The original house, most
probably, consisted of today's visitor area and
Between their purchase and 1957, Aberle and Brophy
significantly remodeled the original house to
accommodate their professional work-related
interests. The garage below the kitchen was
converted into Dr. Aberle's office, and by 1977 the
latillas and shade structure were added on the east
and south sides of the house.
In 1990, Dr. Aberle agreed to
sell her West Mesa home to the Department of the
Interior as part of the establishment of Petroglyph
National Monument. On July 11, 1996, the staff of
Petroglyph National Monument celebrated Dr. Aberle's
100th birthday by inviting her back to her home. Dr.
Aberle was genuinely pleased and thought it
appropriate that her home, which had hosted so many
tribal and federal representatives, would now be
included as part of a National Monument dedicated to
the preservation and interpretation of petroglyphs.
Today, the visitor center is
the first stop for visitors from around the country
and around the world. Park rangers and volunteers,
who staff the visitor information desk, can provide
maps and directions to areas where you can view many
of our estimated 25,000 petroglyph images, as well
as provide an orientation to our park resources. The
building also houses the Western National Parks
Association bookstore where a selection of over 250
items are available for purchase. From Memorial Day
through Labor Day, demonstrations by local native
artisans take place on the visitor center patio each
This ecosystem has a diverse
population of plants, shrubs and trees which have
adapted to live in the desert. It is home to a
diverse population of mammals, reptiles and rodents.
Also, fissure volcanoes can be seen on the mesa top
which offer a rare look at geologic features of the
Rio Grande Valley.
The presence of early American
Indian activity can be found throughout the
monument. The images left behind on the rocks tell
the stories of those people who visited long ago.
American Indian and Spanish Explorers were common
visitors to the mesa and Rio Grande Valley.
Places to Picnic
- Boca Negra Canyon
- Visitors Center
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