Thing to Do

Hiking the Ancestral Sites Trail

A trail passes by stone walls of the pueblo toward the adobe church.
South Pueblo walls show room sizes on the way to the church.

NPS Photo/Stan Ford

The Ancestral Sites Trail leads visitors to the ancestral sites of Pecos Pueblo and the Spanish Mission Church. Pecos Pueblo contributed to a trade network that stretched the continent and beyond, boasting over 2,000 thriving inhabitants on this landscape for over 400 years. The Spanish worked to convert those people by establishing a massive church, which was burnt down in the Pueblo Revolt and eventually replaced by a smaller mission. This trail allows you to see those locations, look across the Pecos River Valley, go into two restored kivas, and learn more about the archeology that tells us about the people who lived here once.

The trail is a 1.25 mile/2 km roundtrip loop. Its difficulty is easy; the trail surface is gravel/dirt. The trail only has 80 feet/23 meters of elevation change. The trail starts right behind the visitor center. It gives you a glimpse into the past as you pass by the ancestral sites of the Pecos Pueblo and the mission church. You will also enjoy beautiful vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Glorieta Mesa as you venture around the trail. Trail guides are available for purchase inside the the visitor center.
40-90 Minutes
Front-Country Hiking
Dogs are allowed on the trail if on leash, under control, and if you pick up after your pets. Doggy bags are available at the trash cans by the visitor center and church.
Pecos NHP is a fee-free park.
Come to the visitor center to start the Ancestral Sites Trail. Pecos National Historical Park is located 25 miles east of Santa Fe, New Mexico off of Interstate 25. There is no public transportation to the park. Visitors traveling north on I-25 can take exit 299 near Glorieta, NM on to HWY 50 to Pecos Village. From Pecos, head south two miles on State Road 63 and the park visitor center will be on your right. Visitors traveling south on I-25 can take exit 307 near Rowe, NM and proceed four miles north to the park on State Road 63. From Rowe, the park visitor center will be on your left.
Year Round
The Ancestral Sites Trail is open when the park is open; typically, 8-4:30 in winter, 8-5:30 in summer.
Accessibility Information
The Ancestral Sites Trail is mostly accessible; the surface is hard-packed dirt/gravel with width exceeding four feet. The grade is typically under 3%; however, an area of the trail near the North Pueblo has a grade closer to 7% for a span of 40 feet. The church has two small steps of four inches in height that may be bypassed by following the trail through the side of the church. The reconstructed kivas require use of 10-foot ladders and are largely inaccessible for visitors in wheelchairs or with significant mobility constraints. 

Audio Description devices are available at the visitor center for checkout. Accessible parking for the trail is also available at the visitor center and church parking lots. The visitor center and attendant restrooms are accessible.

Pecos National Historical Park

Last updated: April 14, 2021