Tsankawi Trail Stop 14

a wooden ladder leans against reddish rocks

Photo by Sally King

Stop 14: This view of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains is amazing. The Rio Grande flows in the dark walled canyon closer in front of you. The city of Santa Fe is across the river and to the right along the base of the mountains. At night, the lights of that city and other communities nearby cast a greenish aura into the sky. Imagine how dark the nights would have been during Ancestral Pueblo times with only the light of campfires to maar the darkness. Watching the skies imparted important knowledge. Celestial linked artifacts such as petroglyphs and even the alignment of buildings stand testament to the people’s knowledge of how land and sky collaborate. Remember, the park closes at dusk but most years during the summer, there are numerous opportunities to learn about the starry night skies from a park ranger.

Beyond this location the trail includes a 12-foot ladder and many narrow paths. You may return the way you came or proceed ahead to the cliff edge and down the ladder. The trail continues to your right as you face away from the ladder. Please stay on the trail.

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Last updated: January 15, 2022

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