Mesa Point Trail at Boca Negra Canyon in the Petroglyph National Monument
|The Mesa Point Trail in Boca Negra Canyon is a nice trail near Albuquerque. You can view 1000 year-old petroglyphs, as well as get nice views of the city and the Sandia and Manzano Mountains.|
|Hike data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the trailhead||About the hike||Plants along the trail||Comments|
When we hiked it:
|Time it took us:||2:12.||0:46. Time spent actually moving and not looking was only 12 minutes.|
|Usage (people/hour):||0.00. People per hour not recorded. Usage was heavy.||49.30. Balloon Fiesta time has heavy usage.|
|Cleanliness:||9.||10. I picked up only one small piece of litter.|
|BNCMPT||Trailhead||Mesa Point Trail trailhead at Boca Negra Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument|
Maps:Geohack online map list Paper maps:
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|Albuquerque New Mexico||USGS||1983||1:100000||Y||from sar.lanl.gov (free)|
|Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah||Automobile Club of Southern California||1998||1:0||N||Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (purchase)||Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.|
|Wildernesses of New Mexico||US Forest Service||1981||1:1000000||N||No online copies.||Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.|
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Getting to the trailhead:
From I-40 Westbound from Albuquerque, take exit 154 (Under Blvd, State Highway 345). Head north on Unser for 4.9 miles. The entrance to the park is on the right. As you go around the loop road, the parking area is (? verify) the first on the right. The parking lot is small, and you might have to park elsewhere and hike over to the trailhead. Trails lead between all of the parking areas, so this is not a problem.
About the hike:
At the beginning of the trail, there are lots of petroglyphs. They decrease in density somewhat as you climb the mesa, but there are always plenty to look at.
The lighting is important to being able to see petroglyphs. You will probably see different petroglyphs in the morning than in the afternoon.
When you come to a junction, take it for more petroglyphs. The side trails all dead-end, but are good to take.
The trail leads to the mesa top. The signs request that you stay on the trail. Unfortunately, many people ignore the signs.
From the mesa top, you get a good view of the Sandia and Manzano mountains, as well as the city coming to the Park's edge.
While the petroglyphs are the main attraction, keep your eyes open for other interesting sights.
Plants we saw along the trail:
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