|Pecos Pueblo mission ruins|
If your road trip or southwest vacation takes you along Interstate 25 about twenty-eight miles east of Santa Fe, you will be wise to add this stop to your trip planner. As you can see from the photos in this article, the ruins are quite extensive and represent some of the best New Mexico pueblo ruins to be viewed. The Pecos National Historical Park is located about two miles south of Pecos New Mexico and about one mile north of Interstate 25. It's about a forty minute drive from Santa Fe and very well worth the visit.
|Pecos National Historical Park grounds|
Prior to the invasion of their lands by the Spaniards, the location of Pecos Pueblo proved advantageous to the Indians. The pueblo was between the agricultural producing Indians to the west along the Rio Grande Valley and the nomadic tribes on the plains to the east. Trade thus became a big factor.
|Adobe brick wall structure at Pecos Pueblo|
|Pecos National Historical Park Visitors Center|
During the 1700's, the Pecos Pueblo went into a decline. The trade was decreasing and there were a significant number of deaths from disease introduced by the European occupiers. The Indian's immune system couldn't fight the new strains of serious disease. This same story played out during the 1800's with the advance of white settlers from the eastern U.S. westward into the great plains and beyond. Disease decimated native populations during almost two centuries.
In 1782 the Pecos mission was abandoned, its people then being ministered by a priest from Santa Fe. The Pecos pueblo population had dwindled to 152 between 1790 and 1793, most likely because of a Comanche raid in which nearly every man in the tribe was killed. By the year 1801 the Pecos pueblo tribe declined to 104. In 1838 the pueblo was finally abandoned completely and seventeen survivors moved to Jemez to the west where there are now about 25 Indians of Pecos blood, only one of whom however was born at the mother pueblo.
Two additional travel articles with photos that are excellent combination trips to the Pecos National Historical Park are the Wagon Ruts at Fort Union New Mexico and the Turquoise Trail and Madrid New Mexico just south of Santa Fe.Also see our article Breckenridge Colorado / Old Mining Town and Year Round Resort
The Pecos National Historical Park is a unique western travel stop which I'm sure you'll enjoy while traveling America's Southwest.
(Photos and article copyright Western Trips)
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