El Morro

(El Morro NM)
El Morro National Monument featured Inscription Rock with hundreds of signatures on a sheer sandstone cliff. The Visitor Center had nice displays about the history of the site and those that made it a well known stop-over. A paved path took me past the signatures.

Cliffs, trees

El Morro National Monument

It contained historic graffiti spanning over a thousand years; with markings by early natives, Colonial Spaniards, cowboys, missionaries, Mexican and America settlers and military. Most were messages of “I passed here on X date”. But, others were more interesting, like a poem.


Early native markings

Passed here Ramon

Colonial Spanish from 1709

At the base of the cliff was a watering hole, that made it an ideal place to camp while passing on the popular trail through the area. When the railroad took a different route, that became the easier option for travel. Then El Morro almost became forgotten; but, was eventually preserved as the monument. Atop the rock, on a mesa, was the Atsinna Pueblo ruin which I didn’t hike up to see.

Inscriptions on rock wall

American signatures mid 1800’s

Water, grass, rock wall

Pool at base of cliff

Camped at a free Forest Service campground just 1/4 mile off the highway; there were several others there, too. Nicely spaced sites in tall trees with picnic table, fire-ring, and pit toilet. It was quiet and at about 6,400ft, so the temperatures were decent; but, no internet.

Camp: Apache NF-Apache Creek CG drycamp
Scene: Sandstone cliffs, graffiti, pond

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2 Responses to El Morro

  1. Gumo November 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    Beautiful! I knew about this park but was unaware of all the human history it had. Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good Thanksgiving.

    • Pleinguy November 24, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Yes; there was a lot of history behind all of those markings. From simple entries to elaborate and exquisite engravings, they were really amazing. Thanks for commenting.

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