The Inscription Trail is a half mile paved loop trail in New Mexico’s El Morro National Monument. Half a mile wouldn’t usually take somebody 30 minutes to walk but if a park ranger hands you a hefty book with a couple paragraphs for each of the twenty something stops along the trail it’ll probably take you a while. And that’s what happened to me as I arrived just before the park closed it’s gates to day hikers. With my bible sized pamphlet about the rock inscriptions I started the trail to learn all about the history of El Morro. In a nutshell what I learned is that because of a year round watering hole at the base of El Morro’s sandstone cliffs, the area became a vital stopping point for people traveling west in the vast New Mexico desert (just like the first Love’s Truck Stop in New Mexico is to me after driving 18 hours from Georgia).

Anyways because of the sandstone’s easy markability many early graffiti artists made their mark in El Morro. Beginning with early Native Americans and continuing through the ages past Spanish explorers, pioneers of the Wild West, the infamous Don Juan, and up to miner 49ers. Since El Morro was made a National Monument in 1906 marking up the ancient walls is off limits but the history of people writing “[Blank] Waz Here” will be immortalized by this national monument.

My favorite inscription was a Native American depiction of some bighorn sheep!

Thanks! – Josh

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