El Morro National Monument


Rising 200-feet above the valley floor, this massive sandstone bluff was a welcome landmark for weary travelers. A reliable waterhole hidden at its base made El Morro (or Inscription Rock) a popular campsite. Ancestral Puebloans and Spanish and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs for hundreds of years at this site. A short, half-mile loop trail leads to a historic pool and past hundreds of these unique inscriptions and petroglyphs. Make El Morro National Monument a stopping point in your travels!


Seasonality / Weather

At an elevation of 7,219 feet, winters can be cold and snowy. Summers are warm with afternoon thunder showers from mid-July through mid-September. Trails can close unexpectedly due to severe weather.



From Albuquerque, New Mexico, or from the east: take Interstate 40 west to Grants. At exit 81, go south on Highway 53 for 42-miles.

From Flagstaff, Arizona, or from the west: take Interstate 40 east to Gallup. At exit 20, go south on Highway 602 for about 31-miles. Turn left onto Highway 53, continuing on for another 25-miles.