Petroglyph National Monument

The information on this page was gathered from the National Parks Service Petroglyph National Monument Trail Guide, the Field Guide to Southwestern Petroglyphs, and the Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Southwest.
There are four petroglyph areas in the Petroglyph National Monument: the Mesa Point Trail, the Macaw Trail, the Cliff Base Trail and the Upper Canyon Trail. The trails are centrally located with the exception of the Upper Canyon Trail, which is a couple of miles away. All the information is available at the Las Imagines Visior Center, 4735 Unser NW (at jct of Western Trail), Albuquerque, MN 87120 - 505.899.0205
This rock had many petroglyphs on it, and was very interesting, but we couldn't find the meaning of the in any of the books that we had. In the grand scheme of things, though, the "experts" who are stating the nature of each of these shapes may or may not have a clue to the true meaning. We chose just to enjoy them and not worry about what their creator originally meant.
There seemed to be some conflicting literature about who or what this character is. While some consider this phallic fellow to be a version of Kokopelli in his fertility incarnation, others proclaim that this is the symbol of a religous group called the "One Horned Society" by modern scholors because of the single horn protruding on his head.
This petroglyph has the figure of a flying bird on top, which is probably a klan symbol. Beside the bird figure, the rock also contains a cage or room drawing which depicts characteristics about the artists' particular klan.
The petroglyph that Mitchel is standing by looks like a spear, but according the book this is a "go ahead" symbol. If an ancient person was planning a particularly important drawing further up the mountain, he might have drawn this to direct others to it. The shifting of the rocks through the last few thousand years would have rendered this roadmark useless, but it is as important as anything that it might have once pointed to.
The fellow on this rock resembles Kokopelli, the humpbacked flute player, a figure that has appeared throughout the southwest among the various peoples. He is a symbol of celebration, of fertility, of blessing. Standing on the path and staring at this petroglyph, it was profound to stop and wonder what the artist meant by his work.
This figure represents the artist or someone in his clan. The body is large, containing sacred symbols that may indicate that he is a warrior, shaman, chief or other significant figure.
Many of the petroglyphs that we found were contained in this field of volcanic rocks. From a distance, you really can't see the individual rocks. When you get closer, though, the magic unfolds and you can see these images left by some ancient artist three thousand years ago. We loved discovering these cryptic messages from the past.