• western bluebirds


    National Monument New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Access by Shuttle Bus Only

    Through October 27, 2014 all access to the most visited part of the park, Frijoles Canyon, will be via a mandatory shuttle bus from the nearby community of White Rock from 9 AM - 3 PM daily. Private cars may drive in before 9 AM or after 3 PM. More »

Falls Trail Stop 2

Frijoles Creek

Frijoles Creek

NPS Photo by Stella Carroll

The prehistoric people who lived here were dependent on their immediate environment for everything they needed, including food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. The environment within Frijoles Canyon has several characteristics which made it a good place for the Ancestral Pueblo people to live. Frijoles Creek is a permanent stream, a rare commodity in the arid Southwest. A reliable source of water, diverse vegetation, and an abundance of wildlife supplied the needs of some of the earliest inhabitants of Frijoles Canyon. As people began more permanent settlements, agriculture appeared. Beans, corn, and squash were grown in the canyon bottom, in shallow basins, on side slope terraces and on the mesa tops, where the Ancestral Puebloans developed water conserving methods. Shelters could be made by carving a cave into the soft cliff, or by building a home of stone blocks cut from tuff.

Next Page Return to Intro

Did You Know?

Three-leaf Sumac

A drink that tastes a lot like lemonade can be made from the berries of the Three-leaf Sumac. From this, the bush gets its common name, the Lemonade Bush.