This interesting National Monument protects three separate Spanish missions that date to the 1600s, though its main visitor center in Mountainair, New Mexico is not next to any of them. Their location near salt flats led to the name Salinas and contributed to the pueblos’ abandonment when a major drought struck in the 1670s.
Gran Quivira, Quarai, Abó, film at main visitor center
Gran Quivira has the remains of two churches (the second unfinished at the time of abandonment) and the most significantly excavated pueblo ruins (with kivas) of the three sites.
Each of the three pueblos has a paved walkway that leads through its ruins that leaves from the parking lot and past its contact station staffed by a National Park Service employee.
The church at Quarai is the most complete of the three sites and its red walls photograph well at sunset.
Spring and Fall
All roads paved
Manzano Mountains State Park has a seasonal campground 15 miles north of Mountainair, New Mexico.
Explore More – Other than the major drought in the 1670s, what other factors contributed to the abandonment of these pueblos?