Santa Fe Area Petroglyphs

There are many petroglyphs in the Santa Fe area. This part of the U.S. is most unusual, there is so much sense of the deep past. In so many parts of the country, the past is hidden, but in the Southwest it is quite visible. There is a sense of presence.

Bandelier National Monument

Ruins of Village at Bandelier
If you are ever in Santa Fe, you MUST drive out towards Los Alamos and check out the ruins at Bandelier National Monument. There is an entire village to explore, with its own history and culture.
Caves at Bandelier
While much of the village was built on the valley floor, there area also caves to explore. Many of these are man made, or at least remodeled, for the volcanic rock here is soft and easy to work.

Bandelier Petroglyph 1
Bandelier Petroglyph 2
Bandelier Petroglyph 3
Bandelier Petroglyph 4
Bandelier Petroglyph 5

Mortidad Canyon

Protected Caves at Mortidad Canyon
Mortidada Canyon is off one of the alternate routes to Los Alamos. You park by the side of the road and walk around a rise and find yourself in a valley, far away from so many things.

According to our guide, the petroglyphs in at least one of the caves were being damaged by vandals, so Los Alamos National Laboratories moved to protect them. Perhaps these cages are a bit of overkill, but then again, that is something LANL should understand.

At least, they set things up so you could still get a good look inside. Notice how there is sort of a passageway built into the cage.
Other Caves at Mortidad Canyon
Of course, not every cave is well guarded. You can just walk into some of the caves and explore. Meanwhile, down in the valley the coyotes are celebrating with their wild howls in the distance.

Our apologies for some of the blurred images. The Santa Fe light does not invite a flash, and these images were a serendipity.

Mortidad Petroglyph 1
Mortidad Petroglyph
Mortidad Petroglyph 3
Mortidad Petroglyph 4
Mortidad Petroglyph 5
Mortidad Petroglyph 6
Mortidad Petroglyph 7