Puerco Pueblo Trail Photos And Reviews At Petrified Forest National Park

by Adam on March 28, 2011

The Puerco Ruin Trailhead Sign At Petrified Forest National Park

The Puerco Ruin Trailhead Sign At Petrified Forest National Park

When you take a road trip to Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona there are about 10 trails to hike in the park.  Unless you venture into the backcountry the longest trail in Petrified Forest National Park is two miles.  That two-miler is the Agate House Trail.  The most scenic marked trail in Petrified Forest National Park is the Blue Mesa Trail through a section of beautiful blue and purple striped badlands formations with some hoodoos and petrified wood scattered around.  The Puerco Pueblo trail is a .3-mile hike along a paved trail featuring the remains of a 100-room pueblo inhabited more than 600 years ago by ancient Puebloan people.

The Puerco Pueblo Ruins And The Modern Bathroom Along The Trail At Petrified Forest National Park

The Puerco Pueblo Ruins And The Modern Bathroom Along The Trail At Petrified Forest National Park

When you visit Petrified Forest National Park there are three primary things you will see at the park, petrified wood, beautifully colored badlands formations in the Blue Mesa area and the Painted Desert and ancient ruins.  The Puerco Pueblo Trail is one of two trails in the park that take you to see ancient ruins.  To get to the trailhead for the Puerco Pueblo trail you’ll need to drive about 15 miles in from the north entrance to the park (past the Blue Mesa Loop Road on the right and the Newspaper Rock Road on the left) and look for a small parking area on the right side of the road.

The Puerco Pueblo Kiva Ruins At Petrified Forest National Park In Arizona

The Puerco Pueblo Kiva Ruins At Petrified Forest National Park In Arizona

Once you get to the parking area, the trailhead is right there and leaves from the parking area.  The trail is flat, easy and short.  You’ll see a sign at the trailhead that maps out the area and provides an overview of what you will, where the different ruins are located and when people inhabited these ancient ruins. You will earn that humans inhabited the area from approximately A.D. 1250 to A.D.1380.  You’ll be able to walk in a loop around the ruins along which you will see the plaza ruins, a Kiva and remains of a few other buildings.

Puerco Pueblo Bird Petroglyphs At Petrified Forest National Park

Puerco Pueblo Bird Petroglyphs At Petrified Forest National Park

As is the case near many ancient ruins you’ll also be able to see and snap some photos of petroglyphs.  If you haven’t seen petroglyphs before, seeing them for the first or second or even third time is pretty cool.  If you’ve been to lots of other sites where petroglyphs have been found then these petroglyphs are very much like others you’ve seen in other locations across the country.  The remnants of the stone walls that make up the ruins are up to about 10 inches thick, have no windows and served to protect the inhabitants from strong desert winds and storms that occasionally blow through the area that is now Petrified Forest National Park.

The Puerco Pueblo Ruins At Petrified Forest National Park In Arizona

The Puerco Pueblo Ruins At Petrified Forest National Park In Arizona

The time need to hike this trail will be somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour depending on how much time you spend reading the signs and snapping photos of the ruins and petroglyphs.  If you are moving south through the park, Newspaper Rock, The Teepees and the Blue Mesa Drive and Trail will be the next sights you’ll come to.

Puerco Pueblo Petroglyphs At Petrified Forest National Park

Puerco Pueblo Petroglyphs At Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re heading up north from the south entrance you’ll come to the Route 66 display and an old car, followed by a few overlooks and then the Painted Desert Inn.  All of these sights are spectacular and can be seen in a day.  The Blue Mesa Trail is the one must hike trail in Petrified Forest and a stop at Kachina Point (as well as a hike down into the Painted Desert from Kachina Point) should be high on your list as well!

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