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“It could easily be an Excellent rating.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Coronado State Monument

Coronado State Monument
485 Kuana Rd., Bernalillo, NM 87004
(505) 867-5351
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Ranked #2 of 10 Attractions in Bernalillo
Type: Ancient Ruins, Historic Sites, Monuments/ Statues, Landmarks
Attraction details
Flagstaff, Arizona
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“It could easily be an Excellent rating.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2012

A visit to this State Monument was a wonderful experience for us because of our docent, Brian. He gave us a solo tour of the painted kiva. His passion was evident, and going down the ladder into the kiva was a trip back in time.

I recommend a visit to the murals first. A short tour of the info boards and display in the main building can give a basic history lesson to young visitors, and is important for generating a real appreciation of the site.

The murals are the only of its kind available for public view. The painted kiva is a reproduction of what was found by archaeologists in the 1930's. It was reproduced by a native artist who was ostracized by his clan for "sharing too much".

The fee is nominal, and the volunteers/park staff deserve kudos. We met another volunteer on our walk to the Rio Grande (beautiful) who was cutting branches of cottonwood? which was used as roof thatch. The gift shop is also run by volunteers.

The one thing we think could be easily added is food & drink. A single cooler with small selection of drinks, fruit, sandwiches would be enough. There are picnic areas that lend itself to relaxing and taking in the view of the river, and surrounding area. That being said, pack a lunch and hang out.

Visited October 2012
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English first
Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Good overview and great location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

The monument is located right next to the Rio Grande and you can walk down to it from the site. The site itself includes two reconstructed buildings which you can enter. Docents are there to explain what you are seeing and are quite informative. There is also a small reconstruction of the village, a museum with artifacts, and an exhibit with original artwork taken from the kiva. Note that the reconstructed kiva you can enter must be entered by climbing up a stairway, then down a ladder into an enclosed area -- so those people with mobility or claustrophia issues would not want to try it. The gift shop is small.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Easy access to great history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Coronado State Monument is right off of I-25 in Bernalillo and offers authentic, ancient, kiva ruins. You won't spend the day here, but maybe an hour and a half or so, so this is a good choice if you have kids with a short attention span. The entrance fee is a mere $3 and I learned a bunch about kiva structures, art and the history surrounding the people. Worth a visit if you're traveling through.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“A must see for history buffs”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

There is a room full of ancient murals that have been preserved and are really splendid. If you are interested in art and/or history of the Native peoples this is the place to go.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, NM
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“A perfect miniature of New Mexico”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Located about 15 miles/minutes north of Albuquerque, Coronado State Monument is a great "capsule view" of everything wonderful about this part of New Mexico. The monument includes the ruins of an Indian pueblo, where you can walk among the remains of the walls and see clearly the traditional apartment-house-with-central-courtyard layout. The ruins are narrated with signage. The highlight of the pueblo is a kiva (underground place of worship) that you can climb into (via a strudy, traditional wood ladder). This kiva contained unique painted murals: The originals are in the visitor center, and they have been reproduced in the kiva, so that you can experience them as they originally appeared.

In addition to the kiva, there are lovely trails and picnic areas along the Rio Grande, great views of the Sandia mountains, and a nice, small visitor center. Parking is abundant, and there are never crowds.

If I have visitors with limited time or patience (and especially with kids), this is the first place I send them. In a couple of hours, they can get a nice taste of New Mexico, without a long drive or a long hike.

Visited July 2012
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