Petroglyphs and History
About an hour and a half drive from Albuquerque, El Morro National Monument is an easy day trip (and also combines easily with El Malpais).
This national monument is an area both of scenic beauty and historic significance. This bluff (el morro means “the headland” in Spanish) had a reliable source of water, making it a great base for ancestral Puebloans and a good stopping point for both Spanish and American travelers. In winter, due to the altitude, patches of snow pop out against the otherwise dry landscape.
The National Park Service provides reading material for a self-guided visit of this free site. While reading the information aloud to my family, I was amazed at how winded I was from the elevation despite the fact the path was an easy stroll.