The Rio Puerco


My father-in-law has a particular fondness of the desert.  He loves the colors of the landscape and has done a wonderful job of helping us appreciate the harsh landscape of the southwest.  We get on back country roads and always end up at the same place.   The land has a breathtaking quiet voice to it and I think that is what he loves about it. One particular place my father-in-law, A, and my son like to frequent is the Rio Puerco.  I have no idea how he found this place but my son gets so excited when the word is mentioned…. I will tell you why in just a moment.   The drive is about 40 minutes from Albuquerque.  We take I-40 West and exit 140 (where the Route 66 Casino is).   Instead of going to the Casino you head north.  You follow the dirt road about 12-15 miles and you end up at what seems like the middle of no where.    (If you want more detailed directions email us.)  We get out and hike around and explore the landscape.  We have found rattlesnakes, shark tooth fossils, and neat canyons and caves.    That is right, I said shark tooth fossils!  If you find them you can’t keep them, you have to  leave them there.  The law states so….. That is what is so special to my son when we go.  The hunt for finding the shark teeth!

shark teeth



2 responses to “The Rio Puerco

  1. Wow i would love to show my girls some fossiles. Do you just stay on road till it dead ends? Are some areas there better to search. If you have google earth could you send me the long and lat. Thank you and cool web site!

  2. Hello Mike, the road continues on for miles and miles and we never have reached the end of it :). We just continue on for about 15 miles and stop where ever we think might be a good spot. There is no exact science to it just more luck. We have had a lot of luck at the 15 mile mark. The little canyon areas where there is sand and sandstone seem to be the best areas to look. I don’t have the long and lat numbers right now but when my husband and I go back I will make sure to bring our GPS with us to get the coordinates.

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