A trail map showing a shorter loop trail in red and a longer loop trail in green.

Hiking El Morro

El Morro National Monument is home to two trails. Stop by the visitor center and talk to a ranger to find the trail that's right for you. The trails are only accessible when the visitor center is open.
Visitors walking on a path near a cliff face
Like the people who came before, visitors today enjoy passing by El Morro.

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The Inscription Loop Trail

This trail takes you to the pool and past hundreds of Spanish and American inscriptions, and prehistorical petroglyphs. The trail is paved, 1/2 mile loop, and is wheelchair-accessible with assistance. This is a great option if you have an hour or less to spend at the park.

The Inscription Trail must be started no later than 4:00 pm.

Two people sitting on a rock cliff overlooking a small canyon.
Hikers on the Headland Trail enjoy the view of the box canyon.

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The Headland Trail

This 2 mile loop includes the Inscription Trail, and continues to the top of the bluff and takes approximately two hours. From the top, you can see the Zuni Mountains, the volcanic craters of the El Malpais area, and the El Morro valley. A 200 foot elevation gain and the uneven sandstone surface makes this a slightly strenuous hike. Sturdy walking shoes and water, particularly from May-August, are necessary.

The Headland Trail must be started no later than 3:00 pm.

Portions or all of the Headland Trail can close due to ice and snow from December-April.

A pueblo structure overlooking a valley
Atsinna Pueblo is a highlight along the Headland Trail.

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Atsinna Pueblo

Also seen on the Headland Trail is the ancestral Puebloan dwelling, Atsinna, or “place of writings on rock.” Between approximately 1275 to 1350 CE, up to 600 people lived in this 355 room pueblo. Atsinna was partially excavated in the 1950s and masons and archeologists continue to work towards its stabilization. Hiking to Atsinna via the Headlands Trail is a mile out and back, and includes ascending and decending 132 stairs.

Last updated: March 26, 2023

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Mailing Address:

HC 61 Box 43
Ramah, NM 87321


505 783-4226 x801

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