Hours and Days of Operation:
Open 8:30am - 5pm Wednesday through Monday. Closed Tuesdays.
Closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
$3. A combination ticket, good for admission to both Jémez and Coronado State Monuments is available for $5. Sunday admission for New Mexico residents with ID is free. Wednesday admission is free to New Mexico Seniors with ID. Children 16 and under are always admitted free.
Just minutes north of Albuquerque (off of I-25, exit 242) in Bernalillo, is Coronado State Monument where Francisco Vásquez de Coronado—with 300 soldiers and 800 Indian allies from New Spain—entered the valley while looking for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. Instead he found villages inhabited by prosperous native people. Coronado's party camped near the Tiwa pueblo of Kuaua, one of the many villages encountered by the explorers.
Kuaua, a Tiwa word for "evergreen," was first settled around AD 1300 by
American Indians who had long known about the fertile land near the Rio
Successful at agriculture elsewhere, many moved into the area, allying themselves with the local population. The resulting pueblo flourished and grew, as did the many neighboring villages along the life-giving Rio Grande.
Kuaua is an earthen pueblo excavated in the 1930s by WPA workers, who also reconstructed new ruin walls over the reburied original ruins. A square kiva, excavated in the south plaza of the community, contained many layers of mural paintings. These murals represent some of the finest examples of Pre-Columbian mural art in the Untied States. Both the kiva and one of the mural layers are reconstructed and open to visitors, while several of the preserved mural segments are open to viewing in the mural room of the visitor center. The visitor center, designed by noted architect John Gaw Meem, also contains prehistoric and historic Indian and Spanish colonial artifacts on exhibit with several hands-on components.
The monument site also has ramada-covered picnic tables with a magnificent view of the Rio Grande. Enjoy the history and beauty of Coronado State Monument, along with the many other attractions on the Camino Real and Jemez Mountain Trail National Scenic Byways in Sandoval County, New Mexico.