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Historic Missions, Mountainair, New Mexico

Quarai Ruins
These Indian and Spanish structures were enormous with walls in the main room at least 4-5 feet thick and walls standing 40+ feet tall. It’s no wonder these structures are still standing after hundreds of years. While this is the first of four missions we visited, it was the best of all. I understand wanting to preserve the ruins from future corrosion, but when a government decides to rebuild the structures, it destroys the overall feel of how these people once lived. We found this to be the same with most of the other ruins we visited in New Mexico.

The Salinas Missions in New Mexico we explored are one of three; (1) Abo: San Gregorio, (2) Quarai: Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) and (3) San Buenaventura. The two sites we visited were enormous but a good distance from each other, so be prepared to make it a day trip

The Quarai were a Tiguex Pueblo band of American Indians that originated in present-day New Mexico. Because of Apache hostilities they fled to El Paso in around 1675; later they moved to Isleta del Sur on the Rio Grande. Quarai, also known as Quarai State Monument, is also the name of a historic site that was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. It was declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1962. It includes 13 structures including a pueblo and a mission which is known as Nuestra Senora de La Purisima Concepcion de Cuarac. It stands 40 ft tall and once had walls that were approximately 3 to 6 ft wide. It is included in Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument.

GPS Directions
Location Data
Date: 08.29.2012
Temp: 96°
Elevation: 6499 ft
Latitude: 34.595849
Longitude: -106.296052


History and Historic Photos: 
National Park Service

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