Nature & Science

Estancia Basin
The Estancia Basin



Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, located in central New Mexico, comprises 3 units: Abó, Quarai, and Gran Quivira with elevations ranging from 6100 to 6600 feet above sea level. Vegetation is predominantly pinyon-juniper woodlands and associated shrubland, including cacti. Good riparian conditions exist at Abó and Quarai.

Salinas Pueblo Missions is positioned within the Estancia Basin, east of the Manzano Mountains. In Pleistocene time, the Estancia Basin held a lake. Beaches, bars, and spits are distinguishable surrounding the margins of the valley. Eventually the lake dried up and the American Indians associated with the pueblos of Salinas cultivated staple foods such as corn, beans, and squash, on the fine loamy lake deposits.

Salinas Pueblo Missions was set aside because of the importance of the cultural resources; however, there is a major connecting link to the natural resources. The link is the importance of man’s adjustment to a marginal land and the man-land relationship during the past 1,000+ years of occupation.

Last updated: May 4, 2020

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Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
PO Box 517

Mountainair, NM 87036-0517


(505) 847-2585

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