3 National Monuments in 1 Day

Today we left Los Alamos for Phoenix. We have 3 days to get there, so we’re just moseying our way down the highway. Our first stop was the Petroglyphs National Monument, on the edge of Albuquerque. There was volcanic action close to here, and that created large lava rock hills. Native Americans drew on the rocks shapes and animals, telling stories and such. We did a cool 2 mile sand hike checking out the different petroglyphs.

As we headed west, we came upon a sign for another national monument, one we had never heard of, and as we really did have time on our hands, we checked it out. El Malpais National monument was like the 3rd National Monument proclaimed, and full of gigantic lava rock formations and “lava tubes”. The tubes were like tunnels and the boys got to hike down into one, but not all the way into the tunnel and out the other side. (we’re such mean parents!)

Their sister monument was El Morro National Monument, a bit further down the road. There is a huge sandstone formation, that an early settler carved his name into it at the bottom. Subsequently, many others carved their name into the rock. Notably, near this rock was an eternal water source that native Americans and early settlers marveled at and used. This area is ridiculously dry, so I can see the novelty it held to keep you alive.

We are so close to the Wig Wam Motel tonight. You may have seen the teepee houses on Route 66 before. The movie Cars did a spinoff of them as road cones instead of tepees. I hope to check them out along with the Petrified Forest National Park. Further west though is Flagstaff. They are getting a ton of snow so we’re headed south tomorrow, and fast!

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