Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, Mountainair

4.8
The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is located in the U.S. state of New Mexico, near Mountainair. The main park visitor center is in Mountainair.HistoryOnce, thriving Native American trade communities of Tiwa and Tompiro language-speaking Puebloans inhabited this remote frontier area of central New Mexico. Early in the 17th century Spanish Franciscans found the area ripe for their missionary efforts. However, by the late 1670s the entire Salinas District, as the Spanish had named it, was depopulated of both Indian and Spaniard. What remains today are austere yet beautiful reminders of this earliest contact between Pueblo Indians and Spanish Colonials: the ruins of three mission churches, at Quarai, Abó, and Gran Quivira and the partially excavated pueblo of Las Humanas or, as it is known today, the Gran Quivira pueblo.It was first proclaimed Gran Quivira National Monument on November 1, 1909. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, the National Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. On December 19, 1980 it was enlarged and two New Mexico State Monuments were absorbed into it on November 2, 1981. It was renamed on October 28, 1988.Quarai RuinsThe Quarai Ruins are located about 8 miles north of Mountainair, at about 6650 feet above sea level. There is a visitor center and a 0.5 mile trail through the ruins.
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Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument Reviews
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  • The visitor center is located in the town of Mountainair. They have an excellent video there that clearly explains the history of the area. Indian history and the Spaniards also. Then travel out the t...  more »
  • Having lived in the state for more years than many people have been alive, I can't believe I had never been here. Beautiful structures and incredible history.  more »
  • This is a very interesting place to visit. The visitor's center has some nice videos of the history of the Native Americans who lived here as well as the arrival of the Spaniards and their interaction...  more »

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