The Wells Petroglyph Preserve

Anyone who has been to Santa Fe knows it is a region with a rich and fascinating history.  The city of Santa Fe was originally occupied by Pueblo Indian Villages dating between 1050 to 1150.  Today, it is still known as the oldest capital city in the United States, and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. Even though European settlers did not truly settle in the region until the early 1600’s, most archaeologists agree that many of the early Pueblo Indian Villages had been abandoned about 200 years before.  The surviving Pueblo Indian populations, which is estimated at 100,000 people, were spread out in approximately 70 adobe pueblos, which still survive today.  Despite the sometimes violent history of Santa Fe, the city today continues to embrace both its Native American and European roots, which is what gives the city such a distinctive culture.  Don’t miss your chance to stay with us, and experience this one of a kind history.


An interesting piece of Santa Fe history is the Wells Petroglyph Preserve, created in 2007.  The Wells Petroglyph Preserve is home to over 8,000 petroglyphs, dating back  to the Archaic, Ancestral Pueblo, and Historic time periods.  In total, there are estimated to be over 60,000 rock images throughout the Mesa Prieta, in addition to other archaeological features.  The petroglyphs found here represent approximately ten thousand years of human activity, with the largest number of petroglyphs dating back to the Ancestral Pueblo period from approximately 1300 A.D. to 1600 A.D.  The glyphs found on the Wells Petroglyph Preserve range from circles, spirals, stars, geometric patterns, human and animal prints such as deer, elk, bear and turkey, to human figures appear as dancers, shamans, hunters, flute players, women giving birth and warriors.  Many of these depictions are believed to have been part of a ritual or ceremony.


Petroglyph Preserve


The Wells Petroglyph Preserve, which is run by The Archaeological Conservancy, is open to public and private tours, which are led by docents familiar with the Preserve and history of the area.  Four public tours are held each year, with two of them upcoming on September 21st, and October 12th.  If you are unable to make one of those scheduled tours, private tours are also available.  If you find yourself in Santa Fe and don’t have a tour scheduled yet, then try an on-demand tour so you don’t miss this incredible walk through history.  Keep in mind that tours along the Mesa Pieta are on very steep and rugged terrain, and are inappropriate for children under 10.  Make sure you book tour Wells Petroglyph Preserve to coincide with your stay at our luxury Santa Fe bed and breakfast; you won’t want to miss this experience!