Macaw Trail - Loop, Boca Negra Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico

Macaw Trail - Loop - 0.1 miles

Boca Negra Canyon

This Petroglyph may at first seem like a spear - in fact, it's a Yucca pod

This Petroglyph may at first seem like a spear - in fact, it's a Yucca pod

Round-Trip Length: 0.1 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,200' - 5,200' (5,220' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +22' total roundtrip elevation gain
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Macaw Trail - Loop - 0.1 Miles Round-Trip

The Macaw Trail is the shortest and easiest hike in Boca Negra Canyon. This trail shares the trailhead with the Cliff Base Trail, with the latter being longer and nicer. At only .1 miles long, the Macaw Trail simply leads you up and around a loop showcasing some excellent petroglyph examples. Of note is the petroglyph of a Macaw, a non-native bird from South / Central America which indicates to Archeologists that the Ancestral Pueblo and other early settlers had dealings with many other tribes, some of whom lived very far away. The Macaw Trail has a restroom at its trailhead as well as an interpretive shelter which provides information about Boca Negra Canyon and its early inhabitants.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N35 09.642 W106 43.185 — Boca Negra Canyon Entrance Station

Worth Noting

  • Boca Negra Canyon is where Petroglyph National Monument got its start. Originally named Indian Petroglyph State Park back in the late 1960's, conservation groups worked hard to eventually earn national monument status in 1990

  • Keep a close watch on children as rattlesnakes love to sun themselves on the basalt rocks along Macaw Trail.

  • Early morning is the best time to see Boca Negra Canyon and avoid crowds. Parking is limited and the lot fills up quickly, especially on weekends

  • Petroglyph National Monument is co-managed by the City of Albuquerque, the State of New Mexico and the National Park System

  • This is a fee area and is strictly enforced. They range from $1.00 per car (weekdays) to $2.00 per car (weekends). Please call the park for current fees as they may have changed. NATIONAL PARK PASSES are honored

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • There is no camping available in Boca Negra Canyon.

Rules and Regulations

  • There are no pets allowed whatsoever in Boca Negra Canyon. Pets are also not allowed to be kept in vehicles while owners are hiking

  • This is a day-use area only with hourse generally being from 8am - 5pm. However, please contact the park for most current day-use hours. Often times, the last time they allow visitors to enter the canyon is 4:30pm to ensure visitors vacate the canyon by sunset

  • Conservation of the ecosystem and petroglyphs are the uptmost concern for park authorities. Defacing, damaging or removing any petroglyph or artifact will result in prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Destruction or poaching of park artifcats is the most serious offense and rangers reserve the right to search vehicles

  • Due to the fragile ecosystem of Boca Negra Canyon, please remain on trails and do not attempt to go off trail

  • There are Western Diamondback and Western Prairie Rattlesnakes in Boca Negra Canyon. As footing is unstable on the Macaw Trail, please be cautious of where you step and where you place your hands.

  • Millipedes are quite common along the Macaw Trail. Do not disturb them or attempt to pick them up. While harmless to humans, they do emit a foul smelling and somewhat toxic liquid as a defense mechanism. Millipedes also play a crucial role in the local ecosystem so their survival should be ensured and protected by all visitors

Directions to Trailhead

The Macaw Trail is located in Boca Negra Canyon, just off Unser Boulevard, 1/4 mile north of Monta?o Road. From I-40, exit at Unser Blvd and head north on Unser for about 3 miles. A quarter mile after crossing Monta?o Road, you will see signs for Boca Negra Canyon on the right hand side. Turn right into Boca Negra Canyon, pay the attendant at the fee station and then park in one of the two available lots. The road through Boca Negra Canyon is a one-way loop. The first trailhead along the road is the Mesa Point Trail, followed by the Macaw and Cliff Base Trails located next to the restrooms.

Contact Information

Petroglyph National Monument
Attn: Visitor Services
6001 Unser Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120

By Phone
Visitor Information

By Fax

Las Im?genes Visitor Center is open all year from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

*Closed on: New Years, Thanksgiving, and Christmas days. The visitor center typically closes at 2:00pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

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