The Tsankawi Ruins, near Los Alamos, provide a look back into the history of the Rio Grande Ancestral Puebloans.
Here, evidence remians of the intimate relationship that existed between the land and the prehistoric precursors of the Pueblo Indians. The site stretches out
on the Pajarito Plateau, nestled among the Jemez Mountains. The plateau was created more than one million years ago during the formation of one of the
world's largest volcanoes. Its eruptions blackened the skies of New Mexico with ash that coated the surrounding landscape in thick layers, drowing all
life. Eventually the flora and fauna returned, and the area became the home to native Americans looking for good hunting and farming grounds.
The soft ash from the eruptions easily eroded, and by the time Indians began to settle the area, steep-walled canyons, small caves and high mesas had been carved into the landscape. The Ancestral Puebloans enlarged the caves to provide room for shelter and storage. In addition, the high mesas were easily defended, making them perfect sites for pueblos.
To get to Tsankawi take N.M. 502 out of Pojoaque and head toward Los Alamos. Turn south onto N.M. 4 and head toward White
Just before N.M. 4 intersects with the Los Alamos Truck Route (there's a traffic light at the intersection) you will see a small parking lot on the east side of the road and a
brown sign reading "Tsankawi".
The entrance to the park is 48 miles by road northwest of Santa Fe.
Click here to see other Tsankawi Maps or choose "Detailed Maps" in the title bar above.
Text from Southwest Parks & Monuments Association tsankawi Monument Guide - SPMA/100M/10th printing/9/99