Visitor Center

pronounced: las e-mah-hen-ness
Photo Visitor Center

Located 3 miles north of I-40, at the intersection of Unser Boulevard NW and Western Trail.

Hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm daily.

The visitor center is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day and during severe weather. The visitor center
closes early on the eves of these holidays.


The Visitor Center is the best place to start your visit to Petroglyph National Monument. Staff members are available to help orient you for your visit to the Monument and to any special programs that might be offered. You may pick up free copies of the park map and park newspaper. This building also houses some interpretive exhibits and the park bookstore.

History of the Visitor Center

Petroglyph National Monument's Visitor Center was once the home of an extraordinary lady.

Dr. Sophie Aberle, known as "Measuring Lady" by the Native Americans she worked with, was the first practicing applied anthropologist in the United States. Her research focused mainly on women's lives at the pueblos, including pregnancy, child birth, child care, diet and healing. Because of her position as Superintendent of the United Pueblo's Agency, she was able to implement practices which led to better conditions in the pueblos.

Historic photo of visitor center

Sometime around 1954 - 1956, Dr. Aberle and her husband, attorney William Brophy, purchased an adobe-style home on what is now known as Albuquerque's West Mesa. The home was first built by Col. Alexander Stewart, in about 1948, as a homestead property. The original house, most probably, consisted of today's visitor area and conference room.

Between their purchase and 1957, Aberle and Brophy significantly remodeled the original house to accommodate their professional work-related interests. The garage below the kitchen was converted into Dr. Aberle's office, and by 1977 the latillas and shade structure were added on the east and south sides of the house.

In 1990, Dr. Aberle agreed to sell her West Mesa home to the Department of the Interior as part of the establishment of Petroglyph National Monument. On July 11, 1996, the staff of Petroglyph National Monument celebrated Dr. Aberle's 100th birthday by inviting her back to her home. Dr. Aberle was genuinely pleased and thought it appropriate that her home, which had hosted so many tribal and federal representatives, would now be included as part of a National Monument dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of petroglyphs.

Today, the visitor center is the first stop for visitors from around the country and around the world. Park rangers and volunteers, who staff the visitor information desk, can provide maps and directions to areas where you can view many of the estimated 25,000 petroglyph images, as well as provide an orientation to our park resources. The building also houses the Western National Parks Association booktore where a selection of over 250 items are available for purchase. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, demonstrations by local native artisans take place on the visitor center patio each weekend.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Headquarters Administration Offices
6001 Unser Blvd. NW

Albuquerque, NM 87120


(505) 899-0205 x335

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