El Morro National Monument is located west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The monument covers an area of over twelve hundred acres.
El Morro National Monument is a monolith of soft sandstone, which rises two hundred feet tall above the valley. Particular value of the monument is the fact that on it are carved hundreds of inscriptions and drawings from the first travellers passing through here. Over two thousand inscriptions were counted - signatures, dates, messages and drawings.
The monument is dotted with petroglyphs of a pre-Columbian time complex, which has ruins of ancient Pueblo, who inhabited this area.
For about an hour, hundreds of drawings and inscriptions left by Spaniards and Englishmen can be examined. Prehistoric paintings are extremely valuable, and later inscriptions. The petroglyphs lead to a trail that is paved, so with the help of a companion, it can be reached by wheelchair.
If the tourist has more than an hour and a half, he can continue along the tour route Mesa Top Trail. From it can be seen magnificent views of the El Malpais region, and El Morro Valley.
Since the path to this place, revealing the beauty of nature, is not the easiest to walk, it is recommended that you have comfortable shoes, and a stockpile fresh water, as during the summer months it is really hot. In winter time sometimes terrible cold does show itself too.
At the heart of El Morro National Monument is a beautiful pond that attracts tourists and people make camp there often. This is a true oasis in the western U.S. desert.
Ancient Pueblo have lived here from 1275 to 1350, in a huge space of eight hundred seventy-five rooms fit over a one and a half thousand people. Spaniards who arrived here called this the El Morro area - it means "main land". Zuni tribe of Native Americans have called this place Atsina - there where inscriptions on the rock are.
Much of the inscriptions and drawings were nearly erased by time, but there are still many that are clearly visible today. In 1906 the state prohibited engraving inscriptions and drawings in the rock with federal law.