Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Petroglyphs on basalt rock with the White Mountains in the background

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site was set aside solely to preserve and protect its rock art. With more than 21,000 glyphs of humans, birds, fish, animals, insects, plants, and abstract and geometric designs, this 50+ acre site is one of the largest and most concentrated petroglyph sites in the Southwest. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers are from the Jornada Mogollon people and are dated back to about 900 to 1400 AD. There is also a small pueblo ruin nearby while the Sierra Blanca rises to the east.

There is a rugged 1/2 mile trail that starts at the visitor center and connects with many of the most interesting petroglyphs. There is another short trail starting at the picnic area that leads to an old Mogollon ruin. The ruins were partially excavated in 1976 and the foundations of three different types of prehistoric buildings were found, indicating that the site was probably occupied for about 400 years. These people are probably the folks most responsible for creating the petroplyphs.

Three Rivers Petroglyph Site offers 1 group/handicapped accessible site, 2 RV sites and 5 shelters. Restrooms and drinking water are available. Pets are allowed in in the campground but not on the trails.

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is 28 miles south of Carrizozo and 17 miles north of Tularosa on US 54. Turn off US 54 at Three Rivers and go east on paved County Road B30 for 5 miles. Follow the signs.

The property is open year round. From April to October the entrance gate is open from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. From October until April it is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Maps: BLM - Tularosa

Petroglyphs on basalt against a backdrop of the Sierra Blanca
Petroglyphs with the Sierra Blanca in the distance
Upper photo of the Three Rivers petroglyphs courtesy of Dusty Matthews, CCA 3.0 License
Upper left photo of the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management  
Ruidoso area map

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!