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Echo Amphitheater USFS, NM

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Echo Amphitheater Campground is a small US Forest Service facility 17 miles north of Abiquiu, NM. It provides 9 developed sites (fire rings and grills, no hookups) as well as a day-use area with several picnic pavilions. The attraction here is a huge amphitheater in the side of a cliff.


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We had not planned to camp here, but we spotted the amphitheater as we were driving by and turned in to check it out. After some thought, we decided to spend the night so we would have plenty of time to explore the area.

Date of visit: Oct 2011

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This is a self-pay campground with an Iron Ranger at the entrance. Pick a site (in our case site 8), fill out the payment envelope and drop it in the Ranger.

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There are four pull-through sites, number 2 (shown here) as well as 6,7 and 8.

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Site 3.

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Site 4.

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Site 5.

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Sites 6 and 7 are two of the pull-throughs.

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Site 9 is a front-in, not that there's anything wrong with that.

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After lunch we put on our walking shoes and headed up to check out the amphitheater. A ten-minute walk along a paved pathway with some steps will take you right up to the amphitheater, where one looks straight up to the rim high above. It was eroded out of the sandstone cliff.

As for the red stains: In the spring of 1861 a group of settlers from Iowa who began farming in northern New Mexico were set upon by a band of Navajo who had ventured into the region. The settlers, one family was the Zendalters and another family was the Treblers, were taken to the top of the natural amphitheater and executed. Their blood spilled down from the top of the amphitheater staining its walls. Three years later, when the Navajo were being forced on the "Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo by the U.S. Army, ten of the strongest Navajo men were taken to the top of the amphitheater where they were killed in retribution for the earlier deaths. Once again, blood spilled down the walls of the amphitheater. The blood of all the victims seeped into the pores of the rock and dried. It is still visible today as a reminder of the fragility of life. It is said that in the echos returned from the cliff's walls one can hear the anguished cries of both the settlers and the Navajo. (Wikipedia)

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More of the cliffs.


9 sites - No hookups, No water in winter, No dump station available

Verizon Broadband Access (EVDO) service

Rates: $10 (50% discount with Golden Age Pass)

Coord: 36.359535 N, 106.523672 W

Nearby Attractions

Ghost Ranch Piedra Lumbre Visitor Center

Georgia O'Keefe Museum