National Park Service

Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN)

El Morro National Monument (ELMO)

Cattails in winter by the Historic Pool<br />(SCPN photo) Circular kiva at Atsinna Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo) Exterior wall of Atsinna Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo) Interior rooms of Atsinna Pueblo on top of El Morro bluff<br />(SCPN photo) Mesa top tinajas (natural water catchments)<br />(SCPN photo) Petroglyphs<br />(SCPN photo) Flowering vegetation near the Historic Pool<br />(SCPN photo) Square kiva at Atsinna Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo) Landscape view over Atsinna Pueblo<br />(SCPN photo)

Inventory Reports

Monitoring Project Summaries

Monitoring Reports

University of Wyoming Logo
Park Flora (SEINet)
NPS Logo Official El Morro NM Website
SCPN park map
Location of El Morro NM in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Click for larger image.

El Morro National Monument encompasses 1040 acres (421 ha) of federal land and 240 acres (97 ha) of private land in western New Mexico. Established in 1906 to preserve cultural resources, the monument features a sandstone monolith, known as Inscription Rock, which bears hundreds of inscriptions of Spanish explorers and early American immigrants and settlers.

The dominant vegetation community in this small park is pinyon-juniper woodlands, with lesser acreages of ponderosa pine-oak forest. Five amphibian, 72 bird, 38 mammal, and 16 reptile species are known to occur within the park.

A natural catchment basin at the base of the cuesta is filled by water runoff from the cliff face and is the only perennial water source in the monument. This pool has served as a vital source of water for humans and animals for centuries.

The Southern Colorado Plateau Network monitors the hydrology of the Historic Pool and upland vegetation and soils at El Morro NM.

Life Zones at El Morro National Monument

El Morro NM ranges in elevation from 7,160 to 7,557 feet (2,183-2,304 m) and lies on the boundary between Pinyon-Juniper Woodland and Ponderosa Pine Forest life zones. Pinyon-Juniper Woodland is much more prevalent then Ponderosa Pine Forest, which is restricted to moister box canyon areas. The monument experiences an average annual precipitation of 13.9 inches (352 mm).

El Morro Life Zones

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Last Updated: August 28, 2017 Contact Webmaster