|Setting sun shining through a window at Abo.|
|Me and Mom.|
|Gran Quivira was the largest and most extensive site even before the Spanish arrived. Being the southernmost pueblo, it was a center for economic and cultural exchange.|
|Situated on top of a hilltop, you can see distant mountains all around from the courtyard beyond the kiva.|
|Abo was built of bright red sandstone|
|The spring at Abo provided year-round water.|
|The views at Quarai were dominated by the Manzanos Mountains. Here, they spoke a language distinct from nearby Abo. Spanish priests used Quarai as the seat for the New Mexico Inquisition during the 1600s.|
I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the long drive to visit Salinas, but my family and I were really impressed by all three sites and with each of the museums associated with each site. We had an especially knowledgable and interesting ranger at Abo, and talking to her was a highlight of the visit. But also we were surprised by the variety of environments that made each individual place special—the cottonwoods at Quarai, the view at Gran Quivira, the birds splashing in the water at Abo. All made for an interesting and enjoyable visit.
The monument headquarters, with the largest museum and the video, are centrally located in the town of Mountainair. Each site also has it’s own unique museum, bookstore, and bathrooms too.
|Informative interpretive displays at the museum.|
If you have extra time, the Manzano Mountains State Park is at the foothills of the towering 10K mountains and in comparison to the trailheads in the national forest, it had a 2 mile family friendly (i.e. broad flat loop in a rich forest setting, with ponderosa, pinyon pine, juniper, and also oaks, views through the trees of the snow-covered peaks. The ranger said he’d only just recently been able to open the road after all the snows. No footprints except wild turkey, fox/ coyote, deer, rabbits.
|Hiking at Manzano Mountains State Park.|