Day Trip! Pecos National Historical Park is Great for Exploring with Kids

Pecos is a fee-FREE park!

Last weekend our family made the short drive to Pecos for a special event at the Pecos National Historical Park. Just 25 miles outside Santa Fe, it’s an easy and beautiful trip.

We went to visit the Forked Lightning Ranch, the home of Greer Garson and one of the earliest projects of architect John Gaw Meem. The ranch house is not that big, so the visit didn’t take very long. We decided to revisit the pueblo ruins. The last time we took our ABQ Kid to Pecos he was still in a stroller, so he didn’t remember it.

The trail at Pecos is very stroller-friendly, and since it’s only a 1.25 mile loop it doesn’t kill the person pushing the stroller.

Visiting the park with a bigger kid was fun! He was interested in the information markers, and when we started fining pottery shards he took control of the camera and started treasure hunting! (Never pick up artifacts you find — take a picture, though, because what you just found is awesome!)

Pottery shard along the trail at Pecos

The trail winds up through the ruins of Pecos Pueblo, then down to the remains of the mission before taking you through a short forest trail back to the visitor’s center.

When we got to the park in the morning we heard coyotes howling. We didn’t see any animals, but there were plenty of animal tracks in the show and mud to look at.

Animal tracks in the snow next to the trail.

Throughout the year Pecos National Historical Park hosts special events. The next one is a Civil War Encampment that will have lots of kids activities. The event is free.

After visiting Pecos, our favorite restaurant to head to is Harry’s Roadhouse in Santa Fe. YUM!