Visit Pecos National Historical Park
Pecos National Historical Park is thousands of acres of landscape and historical sites like those of the Pueblo people, 19th century ranches, and an American Battlefield. We took the most highly trafficked Ancestral Sites Loop Trail that starts right behind the visitor center. This 1.25 mile path includes ancestral sites and beautiful vistas.
Ancestral Sites Loop Trail
1.25 mile loop trail
Elevation Change: 80 ft
Free parking at Visitors Center
Trail guides are available for purchase at the visitor center.
Start the hike right behind the visitor center on a well marked trail. You’ll pass quite a few ruins of ceremonial kivas along the way. The Pueblo people used to climb a ladder into these large holes to hold ceremonies.
Below is one of the kivas along this trail that has the ceiling on it. The park allows you to take the ladder down into it to see what it would’ve been like when the Pueblo people used it.
The most notable structure on this trail is the Mission Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula de los Pecos. This mission was built sometime around 1619, destroyed in a Pueblo revolt against the Spanish, then resurrected in around 1717. The beautiful orange hue of the building is striking, especially against the cloudy sky on the day we saw it.
Below is a reconstructed kiva shown as it would’ve looked in its time.
Pecos offers a chance to learn more about the Pueblo people and how they lived. If you’re visiting Santa Fe or Albuquerque take the time to detour here. Have any other recommendations for Pecos? Leave them in the comments below.
Are you looking for some more fun activities do do in New Mexico? Here are a few tours I found on Get Your Guide.