Saturday, May 17, 2014

Three Rivers Petroglyphs

We finally left Elephant Butte and headed out into new territory.  Our first stop was in Carrizozo, NM at the Valley of Fires Recreation Area. I'll do a separate blog post soon on our stay here but I wanted to post some pictures from a really great day trip we took from here to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.  Here is a brief description of 3 Rivers from Wikipedia...

"There are over 21,000 petroglyphs at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site at Three Rivers, New Mexico , located midway between Tularosa and Carrizozo in Otero County on highway 54. Many of the petroglyphs can be easily viewed from a trail open to the public which winds through the rocks for about one mile. The petroglyphs are thought to be the product of the Jornada Mogollon people between about 1000 and 1400 AD. The site is protected and maintained by the Bureau of Land Management."  link

The hike to see the petroglyphs is steep in places but fairly easy. We saw hundreds of petroglyphs so I'll try to pick out some of my favorites.

A lizard greeted us at the entrance

This was a great place to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend it! We both agreed we would like to come back here again if we're in the area.

There was a pretty cool trading post on the turn-off to Three Rivers. I never bypass a trading post but I'm usually disappointed. This one was the real deal-a little touristy but all the products were authentic Native American or locally made. They even had a case of "Old Pawn" which is the true sign of an authentic trading post.

Painted Burro in front of Trading Post

Chainsaw Bear

   Old Pawn (sorry it's blurry)    

Three Rivers is mostly a ghost town now but there were a few restored buildings behind the trading post.
Three Rivers School 1904

 I don't know if you can tell from the picture but there are words on the side of the jail. It says "Jail" with an arrow pointing to the front and "Church" with an arrow pointing to the back. I tried to find out the story behind this online but it remains another New Mexico mystery. I wish I had asked someone at the trading post.

We've been on a couple of interesting hikes and day trips while we were here so I'll probably post another blog entry soon with pictures from the Valley of Fire and the Smokey Bear Museum in Capitan. I began this post with a lizard picture so I think I'll end with one. This was from Elephant Butte. I posted it already on Facebook but it's one of my favorite pictures so I want to post it here for posterity. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Pam, I love the lizard photos! The markings around the first lizard's neck are pretty, but I like the second lizard photo best. Very interesting markings on his underside, I've never seen that. I always grab my camera when I see a lizard - don't know why but I just love photographing them. It's almost like they are posing. :)

  2. And his TAIL, too. I just noticed how pretty his tail is.

    1. Thanks, Barbara! I really liked the second one, too. I have trouble with wildlife photography but that guy was posing for me. He just sat there for the longest time and I kept getting closer and closer. It was almost strange.