Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- How To Get to Pecos National Historical Park
- Getting Around Pecos National Historical Park
- What To See and Do in Pecos National Historical Park
- Best Times To Visit Pecos National Historical Park
- Where To Stay in Pecos National Historical Park
- Where To Eat in Pecos National Historical Park
- Pecos National Historical Park Facts
- Final Thoughts
We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.
Pecos National Historical Park is a park filled with ancient cultural history and geography that will take your breath away. Over 12,000 years of history are held within the boundaries of this park.
From incredible trails winding past ancient ancestral sites to exploring a historic battlefield, there’s no shortage of things to discover at this national historical park. Each year, approximately 50,000 visitors come to explore this historic New Mexican park.
How To Get to Pecos National Historical Park
Where Is Pecos National Historical Park?
Pecos National Historical Park is located in Pecos, New Mexico. The park is about 25 miles from the state capital, Santa Fe. This national historical park encompasses nearly 7,000 acres of woodlands, mountains, and historic sites.
Pecos National Historical Park Opening Hours and Seasons
Pecos National Historical Park is open year-round. The only days the park closes are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Pecos National Historical Park hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Nearest Airports to Pecos National Historical Park
There are 2 airports that are used mainly by visitors coming to Pecos National Historical Park, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Whether you are looking for a major airport or an option close to the park, you can easily find an option to work for your vacation needs.
Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ)
Albuquerque International Sunport is 87 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. It takes a little under 1.5 hours to arrive at the park from this airport. Many visitors choose to fly into this airport because of its long list of nonstop flights and popular airlines.
This airport offers nonstop flights to 29 destinations around the U.S. and the globe. Some of these destinations include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York, and Washington, D.C. Some airlines serviced by ABQ include Advanced Air, Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United.
Sante Fe Regional Airport (SAF)
Santa Fe Regional Airport is located about 25 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. This airport option is not as popular as flying into Albuquerque, but it is much closer to the park, which draws many travelers.
SAF has routes to and from Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Phoenix. Airlines serviced by this airport include American and United.
While there aren’t as many flights and airlines served at this airport, Santa Fe New Mexico Regional Airport makes an excellent option for those needing to fly into the Pecos National Historical Park area. When flying to this airport, you are just a hop, skip, and jump from the park.
Driving to Pecos National Historical Park
A couple of different routes can be taken when driving to Pecos National Historical Park. For those coming from Santa Fe, Interstate 25 is the interstate you will use. Take exit 299 to Highway 50 and then State Road 63. For visitors arriving from the south, take I-25 to exit 307, then State Road 63 will bring you to the park’s entrance.
Taking the Train to Pecos National Historical Park
Taking a train to a national park is a great way to sit back and enjoy the ride and the journey. Amtrak offers train service to Lamy, New Mexico, which is just 24 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. Once arriving at the station in Lamy, it takes just 29 minutes to arrive at the park. Visitors are able to arrange a rental car or rideshare to help them complete the final leg of their journey.
Taking the Bus to Pecos National Historical Park
Greyhound offers a bus station in Albuquerque, which is about 1.5 hours from the park. Passengers would need to rent a car for the final drive to Pecos National Historical Park.
Getting Around Pecos National Historical Park
The best way to explore Pecos National Historical Park is to drive a personal vehicle. There is so much to see and do in this park; a private vehicle will allow you to explore the park at your own pace. The National Park Service offers printable and interactive maps to help you plan your park excursions.
What To See and Do in Pecos National Historical Park
There’s no shortage of things to do and see when visiting Pecos National Historical Park. From hiking trails showcasing ancient landmarks to fishing in the rushing Pecos River, and from top-notch visitor centers to historic trading posts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this national park.
E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center
E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center is the best place to begin visiting Pecos National Historical Park. This visitor center offers a wealth of information about the natural and cultural history of the park.
Special features of this building include a museum, park store, information desk, and theater. This is the ideal location for heading out on the scheduled tours and having your questions answered by the knowledgeable park staff.
Pecos National Historical Park is located along the Pecos River, and thanks to this fantastic location, fishing is a popular activity. The fishing seasons are typically from early March to early April, early June to late July, and from the second week of September to mid-November.
Fishing is permitted from Thursday to Monday, and outings must be reserved in advance. Some of the fish that can be caught at Pecos National Historical Park include Rio Grande chub, rainbow trout, longnose dace, and brown trout.Hot Tip:
Fishermen must purchase a permit and adhere to all the park regulations when participating in this sport.
There are several guided tours offered at Pecos National Historical Park. Tours are held in the summer and winter months regularly. Some of the tours available at Pecos National Historical Park include the Ancestral Sites Tour, the Civil War Walking Tour, the Forked Lightning Ranch Caravan Tour, and the Battlefield Hike.
Each tour ranges from an hour to 2 hours and is led by a knowledgeable park ranger. Most tours are held on weekends, but several are offered during the week. All of these tours are free of charge, and their schedules are updated frequently on the park’s website.
There are several miles of hiking trails available at Pecos National Historical Park. Each trail ranges in difficulty, from easy strolls to strenuous treks. The 3 trails include the Ancestral Sites Trail, the Glorieta Battlefield Trail, and the South Pasture Loop. Trail guides can be purchased at the visitor center.
Ancestral Sites Trail
The Ancestral Sites Trail is an easy hike that is a little over a mile both ways. It starts behind the visitor center and travels past the Pecos Pueblo and the mission church. There are also amazing views of the Glorieta Mesa and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Glorieta Battlefield Trail
Glorieta Battlefield Trail is a little over 2 miles round trip. This strenuous hike is 7.5 miles from the visitor center. When hiking this trail, visitors will hike through the forest and see amazing views of what life was like in New Mexico during the Civil War.
South Path Loop Trail
The South Pasture Loop is a little under 4 miles and is considered an easy to moderate hike. The South Path Loop Trail is a ranching road that was then made into a trail and winds through the pastures. Visitors can see groves of cottonwoods and the Pecos River, along with beautiful views of Glorieta Mesa and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
No matter which trail you decide to hike when visiting Pecos National Military Park, you can rest assured that you will get a great workout and stunning views of the park when hiking in this national historical park.
The Trading Post
The Trading Post was built as a stop along the Santa Fe Trail in the 1850s. The Trading Post has a fascinating history of being used as a Union hospital and a ranch headquarters that entertained many Hollywood guests in former times.
Today, this location is used as an information center and museum. You won’t want to miss a visit to The Trading Post when heading out on your adventures at Pecos National Historical Park.
Best Times To Visit Pecos National Historical Park
You will have an excellent time when visiting Pecos National Historical Park, no matter what time of year you visit. However, if there is a particular activity you are hoping to experience, there may be a better time than others to plan your visit.
Best Time To Visit Pecos National Historical Park for Ideal Weather
Weather is always a huge factor in any vacation. If you want to plan a trip to Pecos National Historical Park for ideal weather, you should plan a visit in September. The temperature ranges from 45 degrees to 77 degrees in September, and there are typically just 5 days of precipitation during this month.
Best Time To Visit Pecos National Historical Park To Avoid the Crowds
If you want to plan a trip to Pecos National Historical Park to avoid crowds, the best option is to come during the off-season. January is the least crowded time to visit this national historical park. While this month is the least crowded, it is also very cold and snowy, which often deters visitors.
Best Time To Visit Pecos National Historical Park for Fishing
For those who love to fish, plan to visit Pecos National Historical Park early in November. This time of year, fewer visitors to the park make for no competition when reeling in a big catch. Other benefits to coming in early November include cool, comfortable temperatures and less chance of rain.
Cheapest Time To Visit Pecos National Historical Park
Saving money when traveling may seem like an impossibility, but it is quite possible with proper planning. If you hope to go easy on your budget when visiting this national historical park, plan to visit in the off-season. January is the best month to visit and save money simultaneously. Since this is one of the least popular travel times, visitors often see lower flight and lodging rates.
Annual Events in Pecos National Historical Park
There are several events that take place annually at Pecos National Historical Park, from special days honoring the brave veterans of the Civil War to cultural events that observe the Pueblo people who originally inhabited the area. These events are looked forward to by locals and visitors each year.
Civil War Encampment
The Civil War Encampment event takes place each year in March and pays tribute to the Battle of Glorietta, which occurred from March 26 to 28, 1862. This event teaches visitors about this historical moment and includes guest speakers, a living history camp, and activities for guests of all ages.
This event is one of the most looked forward to events, as it offers an experience that makes visitors feel that they are stepping back in time to learn about the Civil War soldiers in New Mexico in 1862.
Feast Day Celebration at Pecos Pueblo
Each year, Pecos National Historical Park holds the Feast Day Celebration event. This event takes place in August and is a way to honor the Pueblo of Jemez and Pecos. This event features traditional dancing, viewing of the ruins, art appreciation, and other traditional ways to honor the members of the Pueblo community.
Las Posadas and the Farolito Walk
The Las Posadas and the Farolito Walk are 2 special events at Pecos National Historical Park. The Farolito Walk is when over 3,500 luminaries, called farolitos, are lit along the main trail in the park. It allows visitors to enjoy a mesmerizing view of the park and the ancient landmarks in a new light.
Las Posadas represents a biblical event when Mary and Joseph searched for shelter on their way to Bethlehem. Visitors are able to walk a trail in remembrance of this event. The trail begins at the 18th-century church and winds down to the visitor center.
Visitors enjoy traditional hymns and holiday songs sung in English and Spanish; the farolitos make the experience even more beautiful.
Where To Stay in Pecos National Historical Park
There are plenty of places to stay when visiting Pecos National Historical Park. Whether you prefer to camp in a nearby campground, lodge in a wilderness retreat, or something in between, you can find the perfect option for your vacation without a problem. Check out the options for lodging when visiting Pecos National Historical Park.
Inside the Park
There are no options for lodging within the boundaries of Pecos National Historical Park.
Towns Near Pecos National Historical Park
There are several towns near Pecos National Historical Park that make a great home away from home when visiting this park. Whether you are looking for a campground, a luxury hotel, or an affordable motel or inn, you can find exactly what you are looking for near this park.
Pecos, New Mexico
Pecos is a small village town in Pecos National Historical Park. This town is a wonderful, quaint option for visitors who want to stay close to the park.
There aren’t any traditional lodging options in Pecos, but there are log cabins, guest houses, and wilderness bed and breakfasts that are nestled in the woods or positioned right on the Pecos River.
There aren’t many restaurants in Pecos, but there’s a sufficient number to choose from. From a chain burger and ice cream joint to an authentic Mexican taqueria to a dining room serving delicious Southwestern cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Recreation abounds in the area. Other than spending time at Pecos National Historical Park, guests enjoy taking advantage of the adventure opportunities. There are historical sights to explore, trails for hiking and biking, and excellent places to fish and birdwatch along the Pecos River.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe is 25 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. This city is the capital of New Mexico and has so much to offer visitors with its vibrant and lively cultural heritage. Many visitors to Pecos National Historical Park choose to stay in Santa Fe as it has an abundance of lodging, dining, and recreation.
No matter what type of lodging you prefer, you can find the perfect accommodations in Santa Fe. This city has bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks, luxury hotels, affordable motels, all-inclusive resorts, and private rentals.
Food enthusiasts are in for a treat in Santa Fe as the city offers an award-winning culinary scene. From innovative Southwestern restaurants to authentic cultural options serving Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Italian, or French, there’s no shortage of options for dining in this town. There are also many breweries, bars, and wine-tasting rooms for visitors who want to finish the day relaxing.
Those who love to spend time in nature will appreciate the opportunities for outdoor recreation. Biking, fishing, golfing, hiking, and river rafting are popular in this city. Visitors can also schedule tours of the nearby attractions to learn from an expert about the cultural and natural history of the area.
Other fun in Santa Fe includes spending the day at the casino or spa, taking in a concert or play at the local theater, checking out the exhibits at the museums and galleries, or shopping for unique items to take home from the many boutiques and artisan shops.
Santa Fe has endless options for accommodations, dining, and fun. It’s no wonder so many people book a stay in this town when visiting Pecos National Historical Park.
Where To Eat in Pecos National Historical Park
There aren’t any restaurants or dining options inside Pecos National Historical Park’s boundaries, but plenty of options are nearby. Whatever you crave, you can rest assured that you will find a perfect solution to your hunger just a few miles from the park.
Casa de Herrera
Casa de Herrera is an authentic Mexican restaurant 3.5 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. This locally-owned restaurant serves authentic Mexican fare for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday.
The menu at Casa de Herrera offers fresh chips, salsa, and guacamole, and specialties such as tamales, tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas. Popular menu items include the stuffed sopapilla, chili relleno plate, and the huevos rancheros supreme.
There’s something for everyone’s taste at Casa de Herrara. After a long day of exploring Pecos National Historical Park, this is a great place to refuel with a hot meal and an icy margarita.
Frankie’s at the Casanova
Frankie’s at the Casanova is a little less than 2 miles from Pecos National Historical Park. This highly-rated restaurant is a great place to dine when you need to take a break from your park adventures. Frankie’s serves an extensive Northern New Mexican cuisine menu for breakfast and lunch every Tuesday through Sunday.
Breakfast specials, salads, soups and stews, burritos, and cheeseburgers are some of the items featured on the menu at Frankie’s at the Casanova. Every dish has a Northern New Mexican flare added to it. Customers rave about the huevos rancheros, green chili cheeseburgers, buttermilk pancakes, and roast beef sandwiches.
For an exceptional meal with outstanding customer service, try Frankie’s at the Casanova when visiting Pecos National Historical Park.
Pauncho’s Gourmet to Go
Pauncho’s Gourmet to Go is a little under 2 miles from the park. This restaurant option is part of a local gas station, but don’t let that fool you. Pauncho’s Gourmet to Go has terrific reviews from customers who love its authentic Mexican meals.
The menu at Pauncho’s features Northern New Mexican style fare, burgers and sandwiches, salads, and breakfast served all day. Favorite menu items include the baby back ribs, green chili chicharron burritos, and the Pecos Philly.
Pecos National Historical Park Facts
1. A New Park Established
Pecos National Historical Park was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 28, 1965.
2. A Growing Park
In 1993, 2 additional units were added to Pecos National Historical Park. These units were from the Glorietta Pass Battlefield.
3. Celebrity Status
The Forked Lightning Ranch, now the Pecos National Historical Park Trading Post, was used as a dude ranch in the 1920s. Guests were able to experience the West like true ranchers. Many famous guests stayed at this ranch, including Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Will Rogers, and Georgia O’Keefe.
4. Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail passed through Pecos National Historical Park. The trail opened in 1821, once Mexico won independence from Spain. This trail was used by settlers and travelers during America’s westward expansion. Trail markers and remnants can be seen today near The Trading Post.
5. Original People of the Park
The original people who lived in the Pecos National Historical Park area were the Ancestral Pueblo people and the Paleoindian and Archaic people. The original inhabitants hunted large animals like mastodons and giant ground sloths. The gathering was also a means of sustenance, and later, they grew agricultural foods, including beans, corn, and squash.
There’s something for every visitor to enjoy at this national park, from fishing to hiking and from guided tours to remarkable annual events. Pecos National Historical Park has something to offer everyone, regardless of age or interest. Book your trip to this national historical park and see what brings in so many visitors to New Mexico each year.
Featured Image Credit: Kirk K via Flickr
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to enter Pecos National Historical Park?
Pecos National Historical Park is a free-entry park. No entrance passes are required, but there may be fees at some of the sites within the park.
How many days should I spend at Pecos National Historical Park?
It is recommended to spend a full day at Pecos National Historical Park. This allows time for participating in guided tours, hiking, and taking in the exhibits and film at the visitor center.
Is Wi-Fi available at Pecos National Historical Park?
Pecos National Historical Park offers free public Wi-Fi at the visitor center. Cellular service is typically available throughout the park.
What is the weather like at Pecos National Historical Park?
The weather at Pecos National Historical Park varies throughout the year. Winter temperatures can get as cold as 16 degrees, and the summer highs can reach as high as the mid-80s. The months with the most precipitation are July and August.
Was this page helpful?
UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.