You and your pooch can enjoy a blast from the past on the Rio Bonito Petroglyph Trail in southwest New Mexico! This loop trail is 2.5 miles total and offers pup packs a mentally and physically stimulating walk! Elk, mule deer, and many other species of plant and animal life create a dynamic landscape. While both beautiful and fascinating, these pale in comparison to the hidden gem you will stumble upon about halfway into your journey! Around the midway point, you will find an unassuming boulder in the center of the river bed -- if you look closely, you will see this stone is etched with petroglyphs made by ancient people who once inhabited this area. These unusual markings are thought to be thousands of years old and are believed to be representations of their water gods.
While you admire the petroglyphs your two and four-legged children can make a splash in the creek or enjoy some sandwiches on the bank! Bonito Creek is also a the furrific spot for snagging trout during the spring, but it usually dries up by summer. Enjoy the oppawtunity while you can!
Accessing the trailhead can pose a challenge since the road is unpaved and quite steep -- four-wheel drive is recommended. Finding the trailhead can be a bit tricky as well, just follow the highway signs for "Upper Rio Bonito" until you come to the bottom of a hill, then make a left. Continue straight for about a mile and you will arrive at the trailhead! Since this trail is off the beaten path, your pack won't have to worry about dealing with crowds.
Bring along some poo bags to pick up any presents your pups may leave. Remember, take nothing but pictures, and leave behind only your paw prints! Just like the ancient petroglyphs, the memories your pack will make here are sure to stand the test of time!
Wear appropriate footwear, as the terrain is very loose and rocky. Pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat -- the trail has little shade and it can get very hot! Bring some towels for the ride home if your pack plans to play in the creek.