Pecos, NM: Don’t miss your chance to visit one of northern New Mexico’s most iconic locations—the Forked Lightning Ranch. On Sunday, February 24th, Pecos National Historical Park will open up the Ranch House from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for visitors to explore at their leisure. The Forked Lightning Ranch, which overlooks a wild stretch of the Pecos River, is steeped in history. Once home to such notable personalities as rodeo promoter Tex Austin and Hollywood actress Greer Garson, the ranch house transports you back to the formative years of dude ranching in the Southwest. Rangers and volunteers will be on site to help answer questions and to orient visitors to this architectural gem.
Please note, space is limited to a total of 50 vehicles. Access to the ranch is down a 1.5 mile dirt road. For safety reasons, parking reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHPat (505) 757-7241.
Join us this December for a two-night holiday event at Pecos National Historical Park. Together with the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, St. Anthony’s Parish, and Western National Parks Association, the park will offer a Farolito Walk on Sunday, December 16th and Las Posadas festivities on Monday, December 17th. Both events are free and all parking will be at the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds. Shuttle transportation is provided.
Sunday, December 16th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
In response to popular demand, this laid-back evening will offer visitors the opportunity to leisurely take in the magic and ambiance of more than 3500 farolitos. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a winter’s evening as you follow the illuminated 1-mile trail to the Spanish Mission Church and pueblo. Start your visit at the event tent that will be located outside the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center. There you will find refreshments, warming stations, and the trailhead. From 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the Santa Fe Brass Quintet, a music ensemble of accomplished and dedicated musicians from around the Santa Fe area, will play traditional and contemporary Christmas music.
Monday, December 17th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
This evening offers a more traditional Las Posadas experience. Horse-drawn wagon rides will begin at 5:15 p.m. The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18thcentury church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the event tent.
In Spanish, las posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and represents the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos carries on this northern New Mexico tradition every December. Pecos National Historical Park will be just one stop during this novena, or nine-day event.
Shuttle service will be more substantial this year to better accommodate the growing number of visitors attending this event. Free visitor parking will be located at the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Grounds, immediately south of the Village of Pecos, near mile-marker 5 on the west side of Hwy. 63. Limited handicapped parking will be available at the park visitor center. There will be free school bus shuttles to take visitors to and from the park visitor center and parking area. Gates to the parking area open at 4:30 p.m. and buses will begin taking visitors to both events immediately. The last visitor shuttle from the rodeo grounds to the park will leave at 7:00 p.m. There is no other parking available at Pecos National Historical Park.
Please note, these events are almost entirely outdoors; appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended.
Come see for yourselves how the ancestral Puebloans stayed warm as archaeologist Mary Weahkee demonstrates the traditional art of making turkey feather blankets on Wednesday November 14th at 10:00 a.m. at the Pecos National Historical Park Visitor Center. She will showcase the creation, materials, and uses of traditional turkey feather blankets and yucca fiber processing at Pecos National Historical Park. Mary Weahkee, a member of both Santa Clara Pueblo and the Comanche Nation is an Assistant Archaeologist for New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies.
Pecos National Historical Park will host the annual Feast Day celebration at Pecos Pueblo on Sunday, August 5th.
Join in a time honored tradition as community members from the Pueblo of Jemez and
Pecos celebrate Feast Day mass inside the ruins of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciúncula (Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula).
Following the 9:30 a.m. mass, the Feast Day celebration continues with traditional dancers from the Pueblo of Jemez and fresh rolls from the horno.
Feast Day at Pecos Pueblo represents the fulfillment of a long-standing promise. Before leaving Pecos Pueblo in 1838, the last inhabitants of Pecos Pueblo entrusted a special painting to St. Anthony’s Parish. A symbol of the pueblo’s adoption of Christianity as another form of religion, this portrait depicts the patron saint bestowed upon the Mission of Pecos in the 1620s. Every August, Pecos village fulfills its promise to perpetually honor the saint by celebrating a feast day mass in the remains of her final church.
Step back in time with Ron Fields on May 26th and 27th. Ron, who is the park archaeologist at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, will demonstrate the techniques involved in manufacturing stone tools and the use of these tools in manufacturing Phragmites compound arrows that would have been in use among the inhabitants of Pecos Pueblo as well as the Apache and other Native American groups that live and lived in the American Southwest. Drop by the park visitor center between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Memorial Day Weekend to learn more about this artful tradition.
Ronfirst discovered his passion for archaeology when at the age of nine he was blackberry picking with his family in Ohio and he discovered a stone ax. After that he has been on a life long journey discovering as much as he can about our ancestors. In his forty-year quest he has worked as a Site Interpreter, Field Archaeologist, and Environmental Scientist. He has worked at SunWatch Archaeological Park, Mesa Verde, Petroglyph National Monument, and is now at Salinas Pueblo Missions. He has worked in New Mexico, Missouri, Wyoming, Texas, and California performing contract archaeology. He received his Master’s in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and is in the PhD Program at the same institution. His area of interest is prehistoric technology and especially atlatl/dart and bow/arrow technologies in North America. His quest is to answer when and how fast the dart-to-arrow transition occurred in the American Southwest.
For more information, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.
Pecos National Historical Park Archaeologist Jeremy Moss will offer a presentation on the history of archaeology at the park, future avenues of research and the many cultural connections that bind modern Pueblo groups to Pecos Pueblo on Saturday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m. at the Vista Grande Public Library.
For more than six hundred years, Pecos Pueblo served as a gateway community connecting the Great Plains and the Rio Grande Valley. The allure, mysteries, and myths of Pecos have fascinated archaeologists since Adolph Bandelier first recorded the site in 1881. The cultural connections to modern Pueblo groups makes it an interesting place to explore cultural continuity and to assess the legends and lore that first drew archaeologists to Pecos at the turn of the 20th century.
On May 19, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park will be hosting the first Night Photography Workshop of 2018 at Pecos National Historical Park. This event is being held in conjunction with an astronomy program hosted by the park.
The workshop will be led by nature photographer, Stan Ford, who served as the Artist-in-Residence at Pecos NHP in 2016. The session will take place adjacent to the mission and will not include formal instruction. Stan and Richard Gonzales will be available for assistance. Photographers should know how to operate their camera in Manual mode and be able to do so in the dark. Equipment should include a sturdy tripod and red headlamp or flashlight. A wide-angle lens is recommended.
Space will be limited. Participants will have approximately two hours, after dark, to shoot. Anyone interested should contact the park’s visitors center – (505) 757-7241.
You can also fill out this simple form to get on the list.