The Pecos National Historic Park preserves the site of Pecos Pueblo and the Spanish Mission there. It was built on a long narrow hill between the Pecos River and Glorietta Creek. A prime location along a traditional trail from the Great Plains to the Rio Grande Valley made it important for trading.
It served as a major trading stop for the pueblos to the west, and the Apaches and other tribes to the east. The Spanish explorer Coronado stopped there to re-supply before heading to the plains in search of the seven cities of gold. It was also a prime location for early Spanish settlers. This route became the Santa Fe Trail when trade opened with the USA.
Little remains of the pueblo. Archaeologists examined the site and then covered the structures with earthen mounds for preservation. Only a couple of re-constructed kivas, and a few low stone walls were visible. There were foundation walls of the original mission and the ruins of the last, out of four successive mission churches, were still standing.
I found a camp up the canyon and next to the Pecos River at 7,438ft. The campground was small and suitable only for small RVs and tents. My site was in the woods and had a short path to the river. It was a quiet and cool place to relax for a couple of days; and only $4 per night with Senior Pass.
Camp: Santa Fe NF-Field Tract CG drycamp
Scene: Pueblo and mission ruins, mountains, river