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Natural Features Historical Markers

 
The Bluff at El Morro image, Touch for more information
By Mike Stroud, 2003
The Bluff at El Morro
New Mexico (Cibola County), Ramah — El Morro National Monument Inscription Rock
Until it was by-passed by the railroad in the 1880’s, its waterhole made El Morro an important stop for travelers in the Acoma- Zuni region. Numerous inscriptions carved in the sandstone date from the prehistoric, Spanish, Mexican, and . . . — Map (db m14129) HM
New Mexico (Doña Ana County), Las Cruces — Rio Grande
Marker Front: The Rio Grande (big river) has been an integral part of the history of New Mexico for thousands of years. Running through the entire state, it is both its backbone and lifeblood. It originates in the southern Rocky Mountains of . . . — Map (db m67023) HM
New Mexico (Eddy County), Carlsbad — Carlsbad Caverns National Park
These vast and magnificent caverns contain over 21 miles of explored corridors. The chambers contain countless stalactites and stalagmites unrivaled in size and beauty. The caverns are within a reef that formed in an ancient sea 240 million years . . . — Map (db m61473) HM
New Mexico (Eddy County), Carlsbad — Guadalupe Escarpment Scenic Area
Fellow Travelers, imagine the land and mountains before you covered by a deep inland sea. Then imagine a large reef forming over 255 million years ago. As the inland sea vanished minerals such as calcite and aragonite bonded together the sea life . . . — Map (db m61488) HM
New Mexico (Grant County), Hanover — Kneeling Nun
Most famous of the many historic landmarks in the Black Range country is the Kneeling Nun. So named for its resemblance to a nun kneeling in prayer before a great altar. Many legends have grown up around the giant monolith which rests near the . . . — Map (db m38228) HM
New Mexico (Grant County), Hurley — City of Rocks State Park
Wind and water gradually sculpted the volcanic tuff at City of Rock creating the rows of monolithic blocks that gave this park its name. Camping/picnicking sites are tucked away among these Stonehenge-like formations and the park also features a . . . — Map (db m64725) HM
New Mexico (Guadalupe County), Santa Rosa — Edge of Plains
Grassy plains meet pine dotted uplands in this transition from Great Plains to Basin and Range provinces. Plains to the east are capped by caliche, sand, and gravel which are deeply eroded into the underlying bedrock in places. To the west, faulting . . . — Map (db m91047) HM
New Mexico (Harding County), Roy — Canadian River Canyon
Flowing out of the Rockies, the Canadian River has cut a gorge 600 feet deep through sedimentary strata of the High Plains. Rim elevation is 5,400 feet. — Map (db m62852) HM
New Mexico (Hidalgo County), Lordsburg — Yucca Plains / Yucca/ New Mexico's State Flower
Marker Front: Wide alluvial plains of Southwest New Mexico are feature of basin and range province with isolated fault block mountains scattered like islands from a sandy sea. Volcanic rocks form most of Cedar Mountains to south and Pyramid . . . — Map (db m42271) HM
New Mexico (Lincoln County), Carrizozo — MalpaisValley of Fires
Spanish explorers called this extensive lava flow malpais, or badlands. The river of lava that flowed down this "Valley of Fires" erupted from a volcano some 7 miles north of here about 1000 years ago. Extending through the valley for 44 miles, the . . . — Map (db m45911) HM
New Mexico (Lincoln County), Fort Stanton — Fort Stanton Cave
Fort Stanton Cave Has been designated a Registered Natural Landmark The site possesses exceptional value as an illustration of the nation's natural heritage and contributes to a better understanding of man's environment . . . — Map (db m108359)
New Mexico (McKinley County), Church Rock — Chaco Cliffs
Great cliffs of red sandstone form the southern boundary of the San Juan basin. The strata that are exposed here are the gently upturned edge of the structural basin which contains coal, uranium, oil and gas resources. The Zuni mountains to the . . . — Map (db m124576) HM
New Mexico (Quay County), San Jon — Llano Estacado
Sediments shed from the rising mountains to the west formed the Llano Estacado, later to be bypassed by streams such as the Pecos and Canadian Rivers and left standing in bold relief with a relatively level, uneroded caprock surface. Croplands on . . . — Map (db m91040) HM
New Mexico (Rio Arriba County), Abiquiu — Red Rocks
The colorful formations exposed here are the slope forming Chinle Shale of Triassic age, deposited in streams, lakes, and floodplains some 250 million years ago and the cliff-forming Entrada Sandstone of Jurassic age deposited as windblown sand some . . . — Map (db m73158) HM
New Mexico (San Juan County), Farmington — Bisti Wilderness
The highly scenic badlands of the Bisti were created by the erosion and weathering of interbedded shale, sandstone and coal formations into unusual forms. The area is also rich in fossil flora and fauna. 3,946 acres of the Badlands were designated a . . . — Map (db m52706) HM
New Mexico (San Juan County), Shiprock — Beclabito Dome
Colorful red rocks of Entrada Sandstone are domed up by deep seated igneous intrusions to be exposed by erosion. The same igneous activity created the Carrizo Mountains to the west. Uranium deposits in the Morrison Formation just above the Entrada . . . — Map (db m36455) HM
New Mexico (San Miguel County), Trujillo — Canadian Escarpment
Prominent landform of north-eastern New Mexico that extends for almost 100 miles between Las Vegas and Clayton. From this point, the grass-lands of the High Plains reach northwestward to the foot of the . . . — Map (db m144177) HM
New Mexico (Sandoval County), Cochiti Pueblo — La Bajada
This black volcanic escarpment is one of New Mexico's most important landmarks. The descent (bajada) of this escarpment marked the traditional division between New Mexico's upper (Rio Arriba) and lower (Rio Abajo) districts. Over the centuries, . . . — Map (db m60563) HM
New Mexico (Sandoval County), Jemez Springs — 20 — Valle Grande
About one million years ago, the magnificent valley before you was formed by collapse, after a series of tremendous volcanic eruptions ejected a volume of material more than 500 times greater than the May 1980 eruptions of Mt. St. Helens. This event . . . — Map (db m119763) HM
New Mexico (Santa Fe County), Cuyamungue — Pueblo of Tesuque
The name Tesuque is a Spanish variation of the Tewa name Tetsugeh, meaninig "narrow place of cotton wood trees." The small Tewa speaking pueblo of Tesuque was established before 1200, and was first visited by Europeans in 1591. It is one of the most . . . — Map (db m32852) HM
New Mexico (Santa Fe County), Lamy — Galisteo Basin / Southern Rockies
Galisteo Basin. The extensive lowland south of here is called Galisteo basin, a sag in the earth’s crust where rock layers are depressed and thickened. It is one of the northernmost basins in the Basin and Range province in New Mexico and is . . . — Map (db m55295) HM
New Mexico (Sierra County), Caballo — Caballo Mountains
To the east beyond Caballo Reservoir are the rugged Caballo Mountains, uplifted about 3 miles above the downdropped Río Grande trough, along the fault scarp at the edge of the mountains. Lowest slopes are ancient granites. Black ironstone beds are . . . — Map (db m45107) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Datil — Plains of San Augustine
Northeast part of Plains of San Agustin, occupied some thousands of years ago by large intermontane lake, is downdropped graben bordered by uplifted volcanic masses. San Mateo and Luera Mountains and Pelona Mountains are southeast and Horse Mountain . . . — Map (db m124674) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Fort Craig Rest Area
Fort Craig is on alluvial gravelly sands, derived from the mountains to the west, sloping toward Rio Grande to east. Magdalena Mountains to northwest and San Mateo Mountains to west are mainly thick piles of volcanic rocks. San Andres Mountains on . . . — Map (db m68055) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Magdalena Fault
Magdalena Mountains to the west are topped by South Baldy at 10,783 feet; Magdalena Peak at 8,152 feet. La Jencia plain to the east is bisected by Water Canyon three miles below this marker. The bench along the edge of the mountains is Magdalena . . . — Map (db m38471) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), Magdalena — Paraje De Fra Cristobal
The mountain range seen along the east bank of the Rio Grande is named after Father Cristobal de Salazar of the 1598 Juan de Onate expedition. The northern edge of the twenty-one mile range is said to resemble the profile of the good friar. This . . . — Map (db m68056) HM
New Mexico (Socorro County), San Acacia — Rio Salado Sand DunesElevation 4,850 ft.
Winds blowing across the usually dry, sandy riverbed of Rio Salado formed dunes along this part of the Rio Grande Valley. The Rio Grande, just southwest here, follows a massive geological trench shaped millions of years ago when huge blocks of land . . . — Map (db m67211) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Building a Cinder Cone
Cinder cones experience a single eruptive period, and then die. Several explosive eruptions created Capulin Volcano, during a period as short as one year or as long as nine or more years. Today Capulin Volcano is extinct. Volcanic ash, . . . — Map (db m89235) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Capulin Volcano National Monument5.5 Miles
An outstanding example of an extinct volcanic cinder cone, Capulin Volcano was formed as early as 10,000 years ago. In cinder cones, lava pours from cracks in the base rather than over the top. Capulin itself was the escape hatch for gases that blew . . . — Map (db m88756) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Capulin Volcano National Monument5.5 Miles
An outstanding example of an extinct volcanic cinder cone, Capulin Volcano was formed as early as 10,000 years ago. In cinder cones, lava pours from cracks in the base rather than over the top. Capulin itself was the escape hatch for gases that blew . . . — Map (db m88759) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Grasslands Meet Mountains
The shortgrass prairie and mountain forest meet here in the high plains of northeastern New Mexico. This transition between two ecosystems provides habitat for many different plants and animals. The shortgrass prairie is the western limit of the . . . — Map (db m89230) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Making A Monument
The late 1800s were a time of homesteading and private acquisition of public lands. Conservationists began working to preserve some public lands like Yellowstone and Yosemite. In 1891, the General Land Office of the Department of the Interior . . . — Map (db m89224) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — The Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field
This region of volcanic activity is the Raton-Clayton Volcanic Field. It has been active periodically, beginning at the western edge of the field with the Raton Phase from 9 to 3 million years ago. The Capulin Phase began about 1 million years ago . . . — Map (db m89228) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Capulin — Welcome to Capulin Volcano National Monument
Capulin Volcano directly in front of you is a dramatic example of the volcanic processes that shaped northeastern New Mexico. Capulin Volcano National Monument preserves this classic cinder cone. About 60,000 years ago thunderous explosions sent . . . — Map (db m89223) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Des Moines — Sierra Grande
Largest extinct volcano in northeastern New Mexico, Sierra Grande rises to an elevation of 8,720 feet, one of many volcanos, cinder cones, and flows that cover more than 1,000 square miles of area in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern . . . — Map (db m88754) HM
New Mexico (Union County), Des Moines — Sierra GrandeOver Left Shoulder
Largest extinct volcano in northeastern New Mexico, Sierra Grande rises to an elevation of 8,720 feet, one of many volcanos, cinder cones, and flows that cover more than 1,000 square miles of area in northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado . . . — Map (db m88761) HM
New Mexico (Valencia County), Acoma Pueblo — Old Acoma "Sky City"
Legend describes Acoma as a "place that always was". Archaeological evidence shows it has been occupied since at least the 13th century. Established on this mesa for defensive purposes, Acoma was settled by inhabitants of nearby pueblos which had . . . — Map (db m30263) HM

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Apr. 8, 2020