Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Quick Facts

Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

New Mexico

(575) 525-4300

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Can you imagine communicating and telling stories by scratching the exterior of rock with stone tools? What would you say? The remarkable petroglyphs found right here in New Mexico are outstanding examples of prehistoric Jornada Mogollon rock art dating back to about 900 and 1400 AD. The basaltic ridge rising above the Three Rivers Valley contains over 21,000 petroglyphs, including masks, sunbursts, wildlife, insects, handprints, and geometric and abstract designs. The astounding number and concentration of petroglyphs make this site one of the largest and most interesting rock art sites in the Southwest! Not only that, but you can also view a small pueblo ruin nearby, while gazing at the beautiful Sierra Blanca towers to the east. A rugged 0.5 mile trail begins at the visitor shelter and links many of the most interesting petroglyphs, while another short trail begins on the east side of a picnic area and leads to a partially excavated prehistoric village. Camping and limited RV sites are available, so bring the whole family along for an overnight trip! Just keep in mind that pets are welcome at camp, but not allowed on the hiking trails.

Map of Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Latitude, Longitude: 33.319663, -106.077848

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Activities

  • Camping

    The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site offers 5 shelters, 1 group/accessible site, and 2 RV sites. Pets are allowed in the campground, but not on the trails. Restrooms and drinking water are also available.

  • Hiking

    A rugged half-mile trail begins at the visitor shelter and links many of the most interesting petroglyphs. Another short trail begins on the east side of the picnic area and leads to the remains of a Mogollon village, whose inhabitants were likely responsible for the petroglyphs. On the village site, there are foundations of three types of prehistoric buildings.

  • Historic Sites

    The number and concentration of petroglyphs here make this site one of the largest and most interesting petroglyphs sites in the Southwest. More than 21,000 glyphs of birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs are scattered over 50 acres of New Mexico's northern Chihuahuan Desert. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers, dating back to between about 900 and 1400 AD, were created by Jornada Mogollon people who used stone tools to remove the dark patina on the exterior of the rock. A detailed petroglyph guide is available at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.

  • Picnicking

    This site provides opportunities for picnicking.

Directions

Driving

The site is located 17 miles north of Tularosa, NM, and 28 miles south of Carrizozo, NM on U.S. 54. Turn east from U.S. 54 at Three Rivers onto County Road B30 and travel five miles on paved road, following the signs.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(575) 525-4300

Links