Pecos National Historical Park
About Pecos National Historical Park
A half-hour from Santa Fe is Pecos Historical National Park. This FREE national park offers spectacular views and interactions with New Mexican historic sites.
Pecos Historical National Park marks what used to be one of the most powerful pueblos in Northern New Mexico. The Glorieta Pass, where the pueblo was located, controlled the trade and migration between the Eastern and the southwestern portions of North America.
The park has multiple family-friendly trails, free tours, and is just minutes away from the village of Pecos, Monastery Lake, and Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery.
- Free admission
- Free parking
- Restrooms at Visitor Center
- Pets are welcome outside on most of the trails
- Junior Ranger Program and Not-So-Junior Ranger Program
- Paved walking trails compatible with strollers, wheelchairs, and young hikers
- Great for kids of all ages, parents, and grandparents
- The park has multiple picnic areas so pack a lunch or purchase food nearby in Pecos, NM
- Benches along paved trails
Family-Friendly Trail: The Ancestral Sites Trail
The Ancestral Sites Trail behind the visitor’s center is composed of paved and packed dirt and is ideal for strollers and young hikers.
Before you begin the hike, there is a covered pavilion with picnic tables next to the visitor’s center. At the end of the path there is another picnic area. Benches are spaced out along the path for those who need frequent breaks when hiking.
If your kids want to explore, this trail features several restored kivas they can actually climb into with wooden ladders!
A ruin of a mission church sits atop the hill overlooking the trail. My daughters were convinced it was a castle and loved running in and out of the doorways shouting lines from their favorite princess movies. Luckily, we had the place to ourselves!
An hour-long tour of the Ancestral Site Trail is offered at 10:00am every day the park is open.
More Trails and Tours
Another good hike for young hikers and sturdy strollers is the South Pasture Loop Trail. This trail allows visitors to hike along the Pecos River and experience New Mexico’s pasture lands.
If your children are learning about the US Civil War, there is a Civil War walking tour on a flat groomed portion of the Battlefield Trail. This tour helps guests understand more about how the Glorieta Pass played a role in the Civil War. This tour is 2 hours every Saturday at 10:30am. To see more of the parks tours and times, click here.
Junior and Not-So-Junior Ranger Programs
If you have children who want to learn more about Pecos National Historical Park, there is a Junior Ranger Program. The Junior Ranger Program provides kids with a booklet filled with activities. Once your child completes the activities, mail the packet to the park, and your child will receive a badge.
The park has a not-so-junior ranger program to engage teenagers and adults with more difficult activity booklets.
B.A.R.K. Ranger Program
Pets are allowed on all the trails except the South Pasture Loop Trail. To teach kids responsible pet ownership, the park offers a B.A.R.K. Ranger program for kids who adhere to the following guidelines:
Bag up all poop.
Always make sure they are on a leash.
Respect wildlife including rattlesnakes.
Know where you can go. Stay on the trails.
Plan Your Visit
Pecos National Historical Park is on State Road 63, about 30 minutes from Santa Fe and just outside of Pecos, NM.