El Morro National Monument New Mexico in Black & White

The approach to El Morro National Monument in New Mexico

Hidden gem of El Morro

I get to travel all over the state of New Mexico for my rural land photography work, which means I also get to stop and see places I would very likely not have seen otherwise, like El Morro National Monument. It is far from any highway, in a remote area of New Mexico and you can blink and miss it for sure. This is the second oldest national monument in the country and definitely worth the effort to visit this historical and natural wonder. Plus, it is very dog friendly!

I chose black & white processing for these photos due to the lack of light while walking Inscription Trail and to add to the sense of history of this place as well.

Inscriptions by travelers past

You can see beautiful mesas all over New Mexico, but what makes these special are the 2,000+ inscriptions of signatures, messages, and petroglyphs all along the base of one sandstone mesa. It is amazing how well preserved (and sometimes restored) these inscriptions are dating all the way back to the early 1600s! Be sure and get the free guide book from the visitor’s center that has the full history of each section of inscriptions. I found it fascinating.

An oasis in New Mexico

The other feature of Inscription Loop is a mysterious and I found, eerie, waterhole partially hidden against a corner of mesa. The inscriptions are here because the waterhole is here. Travelers would stop and get a cool drink of water and then carve their names, poems, hand prints into the mesa. The pool did not look like this for those travelers though. It has been dammed up and the cattails were not there then. The water is so dark, and so still, I dared not even tough it! You could not see an inch into it. Very spooky!

More views of El Morro National Monument