Cliff Base Trail - Lollipop Loop, Boca Negra Canyon, Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico

Cliff Base Trail - Lollipop Loop - 0.17 miles

Boca Negra Canyon

Human figures are common petroglyphs - like this one found along the Cliff Base Trail

Human figures are common petroglyphs - like this one found along the Cliff Base Trail

Round-Trip Length: 0.17 miles
Start-End Elevation: 5,200? - 5,200? (5,242' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +53' total roundtrip elevation gain
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Cliff Base Trail - Lollipop Loop - 0.17 Miles Round-Trip

The Cliff Base Trail provides the most diverse collection of petroglyphs in Boca Negra Canyon. It is the longest of the three trails in this canyon and takes visitors back in time to view petroglyphs ranging thousands of years in age from the ancient Indians to more recent Mexican and Spanish settlers.

At just under .2 miles, the Cliff Base Trail leaves from the same area as the Macaw Trail, sharing a restroom facility and interpretive shelter that provides information about previous inhabitants, geology and how petroglyphs are created.

The trail itself leads up and through the escarpment of Boca Negra Canyon. It winds through basalt boulders of varying size and shape, offering views of some amazing petroglyphs. The trail eventually meets back up with the main trail stem, leading you to the trailhead.

Facebook Comments

Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N35 09.642 W106 43.185 — Boca Negra Canyon Entrance Station

Worth Noting

  • Boca Negra Canyon is where Petroglyph National Monument got its start. Originally named Indian Petroglyph State Park back in the late 1960's, conservation groups worked hard to eventually earn national monument status in 1990

  • Millipedes are quite common along the Cliff Base Trail. Do not disturb them or attempt to pick them up. While harmless to humans, they do emit a foul smelling and somewhat toxic liquid as a defense mechanism. Millipedes also play a crucial role in the local ecosystem so their survival should be ensured and protected by all visitors.

  • Keep a close watch on children as rattlesnakes love to sun themselves on the basalt rocks along the Cliff Base Trail.

  • Early morning is the best time to avoid crowds in Boca Negra Canyon. Parking is limited and the lot fills up quickly, especially on weekends

  • Petroglyph National Monument is co-managed by the City of Albuquerque, the State of New Mexico and the National Park System

  • This is a fee area and is strictly enforced. They range from $1.00 per car (weekdays) to $2.00 per car (weekends). Please call the park for current fees as they may have changed. NATIONAL PARK PASSES are honored
  • Camping and Backpacking Information

    • Camping is not permitted in Boca Negra Canyon.

    Rules and Regulations

    • There are no pets allowed whatsoever in Boca Negra Canyon. Pets are also not allowed to be kept in vehicles while owners are hiking.

    • This is a day-use area only with hourse generally being from 8am - 5pm. However, please contact the park for most current day-use hours. Often times, the last time they allow visitors to enter the canyon is 4:30pm to ensure visitors vacate the canyon by sunset.

    • Conservation of the ecosystem and petroglyphs are the uptmost concern for park authorities. Defacing, damaging or removing any petroglyph or artifact will result in prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. Destruction or poaching of park artifcats is the most serious offense and rangers reserve the right to search vehicles.

    Directions to Trailhead

    The Macaw Trail is located in Boca Negra Canyon, just off Unser Boulevard, 1/4 mile north of Monta?o Road. From I-40, exit at Unser Blvd and head north on Unser for about 3 miles. A quarter mile after crossing Monta?o Road, you will see signs for Boca Negra Canyon on the right hand side. Turn right into Boca Negra Canyon, pay the attendant at the fee station and then park in one of the two available lots. The road through Boca Negra Canyon is a one-way loop. The first trailhead along the road is the Mesa Point Trail, followed by the Macaw and Cliff Base Trails located next to the restrooms.

    Contact Information

    Petroglyph National Monument
    Attn: Visitor Services
    6001 Unser Blvd. NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87120

    By Phone
    Visitor Information

    By Fax

    Las Im?genes Visitor Center is open all year from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    *Closed on: New Years, Thanksgiving, and Christmas days. The visitor center typically closes at 2:00pm on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

    Trip Reports

    There are no trip reports on this trail.


    No one has written any comments


    Add Comment

    Only used to identify you to ProTrails. Will not show on comments list.
    Tell us when your experience with this trail happened.