Visitors & GPS Users: Please go to the Visitor Center (Unser at Western Trail)
To find the visitor center please use the coordinates provided in the 'Directions' link. Otherwise you will get lost driving in various neighborhoods that surround the monument. Do not go to Headquarters (6001 Unser Blvd.) it is not designed for visitors. More »
See petroglyphs at Boca Negra & Piedras Marcadas Canyons
Petroglyph viewing is available at Boca Negra and Piedras Marcadas Canyons. Rinconada Canyon is temporarily closed due to trail collapse and unsafe trail conditions. Per Superintendent's Order: T36 CFR 1.5(f).
Prickly Pear Opuntia phaeacantha
The edible fruits of this plant are called "tunas" and were one of the few sweets the native peoples enjoyed before the arrival of Europeans.
Purple Aster Machaeranthera spp.
These flowers are found widespread in New Mexico during the fall. A concoction of leaves and stems was used by native peoples as a stimulant, especially effective for women in labor. Tea from the ground plant was used to treat upset stomachs.
Fourwing Saltbush Atriplex canescens
Native peoples ground and cooked the seeds of this plant as a cereal; the leaves were dried and mixed with other ingredients for flour. Ashes of burned saltbush were used as a leavening for breads.
Broom Dalea Psorothamnus scoparius
This tall shrub (sometimes called Purple Sage) has many branches, and is characterized by leaves with only one leaflet, and intense purple flowers.
Cane Cholla Opuntia imbricata
Cholla buds are high in calcium. Local native peoples ate the fruit raw, stewed or dried and ground into flour. The woody skeleton has been used for walking sticks or tied together to make fences.
Jimsonweed Datura meteloides
This highly poisonous perennial plant has a history of ceremonial use by native peoples of the southwest.
Sand Sage Artemisia filifolia
This aromatic plant has many medicinal uses. Boiled in water, the steam can be inhaled as a decongestant; as a tea it is believed to cure stomach disorders.
Scorpion Weed Phacelia integrifolia
This plant has been used medicinally by local native peoples. The powdered root or leaves are mixed with water and rubbed on sprains, swellings and rashes.
Spectacle Pod Dimorphocarpa wislizenii
This herb is a member of the mustard family. The fruit of the plant is flat and resembles a pair of spectacles.
Snakeweed Gutierrezia sarothrae
This medicinal plant is used in a variety of ways by local native peoples. Used in poultices and as a tea it is said to be useful in treating rheumatism, rattlesnake bites, eye problems, bruises, aching muscles, colds and sore throats.
Curly Dock Rumex hymenosepalus
This plant is sometimes known as Wild Rhubarb. The stems and leaves are high in vitamins A and C. Local native peoples boiled and served the leaves much like spinach and cooked the stems like young rhubarb.
Globemallow Sphaeralcea angustifolia
Remnants of this plant have been found in many archeological sites in the Southwest. It was used in several ways including, chewing the stem like gum, a cure for dysentery, and smoked as a replacement for tobacco.