KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: MESA PRIETA PETROGLYPH PROJECT
THE majority of the valuable prehistoric and historic glyphs are on private property and some important petroglyph sites have been mined for riprap. The threat of ruination from mining continues, as does destruction from off-road vehicles driven on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land on the mesa. Fortunately, graffiti has not been a big problem. “The site is very lucky because for the most part it’s been left alone,” project founder Katherine Wells said. “Most of the local people are Hispanos and their history is here, big time. What I like to say is that everybody’s history is on the rocks.”
If you want to experience the preserve, the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project offers a variety of docent-led tours of about two hours. Private and group tours are available for $35 to $200, while pre-arranged, docentled tours for school groups and Native Americans are available at no charge. The mesa holds the largest collection of animal flute players known to exist, and these images are the focus of the five-hour 2018 Flute Player Tour ($185), which includes lunch, live music, and a silent auction on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information, see mesaprietapetroglyphs.org or call 505-852-1351. — P.W.