A reliable waterhole hidden at the base of a sandstone bluff made El Morro (the headland) a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Here, Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish and American travelers carved over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs.
This was my third time stopping at El Morro and I once again failed at hiking the Headland Trail. Forgot about losing an hour with the time zone change and arrived after the 3 PM deadline established at the visitor center. Talked a good story but ranger not to be convinced otherwise. Had planned on spending the whole day here but starting the trip a day late trashed the schedule . This is a pleasant spot and camping here is on my list. But with only a couple hours available, stuck to the tried and true Inscription Trail. It is worth it as there is always something not yet seen, but it doesn’t have the views.
The age and variety of the graffiti are the best anywhere although a lot of it is hard to read. The NPS has a disclaimer that some of the past attempts at preservation were in retrospect, not well done.