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Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, Mountainair
(4.8/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful, peaceful and full of history. A must see...a bit off the beaten path which makes it even more magical. Our ranger (Cindy Pilgrim) was a delight and inspiration... 
  • This was our first pass and we only stopped at Quarai. The church ruins are the finest we have seen. There has been moderate excavation of the pueblo, but not that much. Probably, that's for the best....  more »
  • First don't follow your gps or printed directions unless your directions take you to the main Visitors center. Each site is accessed by a paved road (bumpy but paved). The rangers at the main Visitors...  more »