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Messages in Stone Below the Sierra Blanca

Return to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site
My 40th Birthday Foray into Arizona and New Mexico
Saturday, February 15, 2020

After spending an amazing night at White Sands National Park, we stopped in Alamogordo for a quick breakfast and then headed over to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site so we could spend the rest of the day there. Just like with White Sands, we had visited the Three Rivers petroglyphs Site during our Honeymoon Adventure three years ago, but back then I didn’t realize just how many petroglyphs are found here and we did not have nearly enough time to really explore this area as much as I would have liked, so I’ve wanted to return to spend more time here searching for petroglyphs. This time we planned to spend most of the day hiking along the top ridge until sunset to see what we could find. I was a little concerned that there might not be enough to keep us busy for a full day, but I was again surprised by just how many petroglyphs are found here and we still didn’t have enough time to see them all! I guess a third visit in the future is probably in order the next time we find ourselves down this way!

Welcome to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site.

Three Rivers Petroglyph Site Sign

Before starting to look for petroglyphs, we hiked the short Village Trail to see the ruins at the end.

Three Rivers Village Ruins

I took a bunch of photos of all of the petroglyphs that we saw throughout the day, but there are just too many for me to post in this trip report, so I will share some of my favorites and the most unusual ones we came across. Enjoy!

Although we skipped most of the petroglyphs we saw last time, I couldn’t walk past this one without stopping for a quick photo.

Hunted Sheep

Big Boulder Designs

Big Boulder Designs

Insect Design

Petroglyph & Lichen

Diamonds Rock

Zig-Zag Body

Birthing Scene

This was an interesting and unusual panel…

Mountain Lion Scene

I liked the little owl on this boulder.

Little Owl & Staff

There were a number of fish petroglyphs found in this area. I can’t ever recall seeing a petroglyph of a fish before?

Fish Rock

This little guy at the bottom of the boulder was pretty cool, too!

Square Eyes

Checkerboard Sheep

Checkerboard Sheep

Winged

I’m not even sure what this is? Any guesses?

Whatchamacallit

Umbrella

I thought the birds in flight across the bottom of these boulders was pretty cool.

Birds In Flight Panel

Here’s a closer look at the top of the panel.

Spiral Snake

Dance With The Devil

Dance With The Devil

Petroglyphs of birds are common around here.

Bird Rock

Fancy Bird

Lizard Rock

Lizard Rock

Bird & Lichen

Bird & Lichen

We couldn’t believe how many petroglyphs were around here. Just when we thought we had seen them all, we’d find a bunch more.

Pile of Petroglyphs

I like how there appears to be a frame drawn around this scene.

Framed Rock Art

Petroglyphs on Boulders

Another Bird

In the Belly of the Beast

In the Belly of the Beast

Rectangle Design

Big Designs

Rock Face

Rock Face

We stuck around until after sunset so I could photograph this awesome boulder with a jaguar on it.

The Jaguar at Sunset

Last light on the Sierra Blanca

Sierra Blanca

An evening on the ridge.

Evening On The Ridge

After photographing sunset and watching the Earth’s shadow crawl across the sky we hiked back down the trail to the parking lot. We ended up needing to use our headlamps part of the way since it was getting dark out at the trail is pretty rocky. We left the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site behind and drove a few hours to Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque, where we spent the night as we started our final journey back home.

>> Return to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site Photo Gallery

2 Comments

  1. Dianne
    Dianne March 5, 2020

    Looks like I won’t get down there. I knew if anyone would do a great job of photographing the glyphs there, it would be you. I love these photos. Such clarity and definition. Thanks for letting us see them.

  2. Tom McCoppin
    Tom McCoppin March 6, 2020

    Thanks Randy for taking time to post about this site….it is a place you can visit again and again and see something new each time!

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