Nature & Science

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
10 minutes, 12 seconds

In addition to our rich human history, Salinas also hosts a variety of plant and animal species today. Learn more about the wildlife living at Salinas in this video!


Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, located in central New Mexico, comprises 3 units: Abó, Quarai, and Gran Quivira with elevations ranging from 6100 to 6600 feet above sea level. Vegetation is predominantly pinyon-juniper woodlands and associated shrubland, including cacti. Good riparian conditions exist at Abó and Quarai.

Salinas Pueblo Missions is positioned within the Estancia Basin, east of the Manzano Mountains. In Pleistocene time, the Estancia Basin held a lake. Beaches, bars, and spits are distinguishable surrounding the margins of the valley. Eventually the lake dried up and the American Indians associated with the pueblos of Salinas cultivated staple foods such as corn, beans, and squash, on the fine loamy lake deposits.

Salinas Pueblo Missions was set aside because of the importance of the cultural resources; however, there is a major connecting link to the natural resources. The link is the importance of man’s adjustment to a marginal land and the man-land relationship during the past 1,000+ years of occupation.

An aerial view of the Estancia Basin showing a shallow lake and salt deposits.
The Estancia Basin

NPS Photo

Last updated: November 21, 2020

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument
PO Box 517
105 South Ripley Avenue

Mountainair, NM 87036-0517


505 847-2585 x220
Headquarters Visitor Center Front Desk

Contact Us