Mesa Point Trail - Lollipop Loop, Boca Negra Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico
Mesa Point Trail - Lollipop Loop - 0.4 miles
Boca Negra Canyon
|Round-Trip Length:||0.4 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||5,150' - 5,150' (5,303' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||0' net elevation (+180' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Mesa Point Trail - Lollipop Loop - 0.4 Miles Round-Trip
The Mesa Point Trail is a short .4 mile lollipop loop in Boca Negra Canyon. It is one of three short trails in Boca Negra Canyon yet it is the only trail which leads to the mesa top providing 360 degree views of the Boca Negra escarpment area.
Starting from the Mesa Point Trailhead in Boca Negra Canyon, the trail rises steeply in elevation along a pavement path which can be rocky and unstable. The pavement is breaking apart in places which makes footing even more tricky.
Petroglyphs abound along the Mesa Point trail and vary in both size and age. Interpretive signs offer insight into specific petroglyphs as well as the culture of the Ancestral Pueblo and Spanish settlers. Various short side trails lead to hidden concentrations of petroglyphs.
At .25 miles, another short side trail winds up and over the escarpment (rocky hillside) leading you to the mesa top. Here you have a 360 degree view of Boca Negra Canyon and surrounding areas.
Dropping down from the mesa top, the trail passes by more petroglyphs and eventually connects back to the main trail stem just a few feet from the trailhead.
- N35 09.642 W106 43.185 — Boca Negra Canyon Entrance Station
- 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 The Mesa Point Trail.
- Being a highly popular area with visitors, early morning is the best time to enjoy Boca Negra Canyon. 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 in Boca Negra Canyon. This area is day-use only.
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 Mesa Point Trail, please be cautious of where you step and where you place your hands.
- Millipedes are quite common along the Mesa Point 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 Mesa Point 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.
Petroglyph National Monument
Attn: Visitor Services
6001 Unser Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120
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.