We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Natural and Spiritual Beaty”

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
404 reviews
214 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Natural and Spiritual Beaty”
Reviewed November 13, 2012

JMJ Make sure your gas tank is full when you head out to find the historic pueblos of the Salinas Valley. Man has been at the site for over 20,000 yrs but the Spanish priests in the late 1500's brought agricultural and religious instruction to the native peoples. Was is left of Sophisticated churches and pueblos make for a great day of exploration .

Visited November 2012
Thank mother15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

139 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Egg Harbor City, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
310 reviews
180 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Visitor Center in Mountainair is closed for Renovations”
Reviewed November 12, 2012

If you are looking to stop at the visitor center in Mountainair before driving to one of Salina's National Monument Parks I have to tell you that the visitor center is closed for renovations. My GPS guided me tot he address listed and we couldn't find anything. We then drove a little further down to a Dollar store where they told us it was between the post office and hardware. So we drove back and stopped at the hardware store and that is when we were told that it was closed for renovations and the temporary one was across the street in a building that am sorry I wouldnt stop at. Lucky for me I did have the address for the Salina's National Park and my GPS got me to a certain point and then would track anymore. At that point there are signs that help you out. The drive from Albuquerque is approx. 1 and 1/2 hours.

The Quarai Ruins is about a 20-25 minute ride from Mountainair through countryside. You can get a glisimp of the ruin from the road but only for a few minutes and then it becomes hidden by trees.

The entrance fee is $0.00 but you can make a donation

There are 2 other ruins associated with this ruin and they are: Abo and Gran Quivira the distance between the Quarau Ruins and the other are: 17 miles to Abo and 33 miles to Gran Quivira. They each hold their own history in time as to what part they played.

With all the driving time and the time one might spend at each ruin plan for at least a 1/2 day if not more and one might consider taking a lunch as they do have picnic tables as well as a small visitor center. Oh and make sure you take water or something to drink as there is no where to purchase anything.

Visited October 2012
2 Thank pretblueye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Socorro, New Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Abo, Quarai, and Gran Quivira Ruins in Central New Mexico”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is located in central New Mexico with Headquarters and Main Visitor Center in Mountainair, NM on US60. Mountainair is approximately 90 miles from Albuquerque, NM via IH25 south to US60 east. The SPMNM is composed of ruins of three mission Churches: Quarai, Abo, and Gran Quivira. Fill your gas tank before starting as gas stations are limited to Mountainair, NM and the ruins are remote. The three Churches were mostly built in the early seventeenth century by the pueblo under Spanish control. There are small Visitor Centers with restroom, a small museum, shaded tables, walks with signs, and books at each ruin. No food available at the ruins so pack a lunch.

The Abo ruin is un-gated. Both Abo and Quarai are built with red sandstone. The Abo ruins are approximately 81 miles from Albuquerque via IH25 south to US60 east.

The Quarai Ruins are located near Punta de Agua, NM which approximately 8 miles north of Mountainair, NM on NM55 north. The Quarai is riparian with a small creek running just south of the ruin. Quarai is the most intact and restored of the three Churches. Great for bird watching.

Gran Quivira is one of the oldest monuments in the National Park Service system, originally established in November 1909. It is built with gray San Andres limestone slabs and is located 26 miles south of Mountainair via NM55 south.

These three Missions were abandoned in the 1670s.

If you are limited on time, I recommend seeing either the Abo or Quarai ruins as Gran Quivira is the most remote.

If you visit after a snow, the snow on top of the red sandstone at Abo and Quarai makes for great pictures. The SPMNM is truly a hidden gem!

Visited February 2012
13 Thank VLA-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 6 Contributor
202 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Centuries of history”
Reviewed June 12, 2012

The ruins of the three missions that make up this National Monument are each a bit different. The missions are in three different locations and require a bit of driving to hit them all. Each has it's own visitor center and then there is a visitor center in Mountainair for all three. It's a great way to learn about this turbulent time 350 years ago when the Spanish arrived.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank MikeMoAtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument: A Historic Treasure”
Reviewed June 1, 2012

It’s a beautiful day and the kids are on Spring Break. We set out on an exploration of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, just a mere hour and a half or so east of Albuquerque in the Mountainair region. The remnants of a past civilization whose lives were forever changed by the coming of the Spaniards and the teaching of Christianity. There’s a very rich history and the ruins left behind are a wonder. The strength and workmanship of these ruins are a testament to the innovation and skill of these people who, without all the contraptions of our modern world, were able to create structures of such magnitude.

The Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument is made up three Pueblos: Pueblo de las Humanas (Gran Quivira), Quarai and Abó. These people survived by farming, hunting, making pottery and trading with nearby pueblos with the delivery of certain commodities from Mexico once every 3 years. However, by the late 1670’s due to Apache uprisings, drought, famine and diseases, life was so hard that both the Natives and the Spaniards were forced to abandon their homes never to return.

Today we visit these ruins and get a glimpse into what their lives might have been like, the struggles they faced and how difficult life was then. It’s a great history lesson for children and adults alike. The beauty and peacefulness of the surroundings make you understand why they would choose to live in such a place.

Tips for your Trip:

Definitely worth a stop if you are traveling through the area
Great for place for beautiful photographs
Plan with friends
Take along hats, sunscreen and lots of water
Have the kids sign up for the Junior Ranger Program (at the end of the day they are sworn in as Junior Rangers)
Wear comfortable shoes
Bring a picnic lunch (highly recommended- no food for sale on site)


Visited April 2012
2 Thank TheTurquoiseTable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument also viewed


Been to Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing