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Pecos National Historic Park

My final park visit on this trip was at Pecos National Historical Park, east of Santa Fe. Pecos was the site of one of the Southwest’s largest ancestral Puebloan civilizations, with a dramatic five-story pueblo and some 2,000 inhabitants at its peak around 1450. 

Originally settled around 1100 A.D. and finally abandoned in 1838, the ruins to be explored here on an easy-to-navigate trail include those of two Franciscan mission churches dating from the early 1600s to the early 1700s.

Even though these four varied, yet obviously related National Park sites are admittedly not nearly as well known as, for example, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, they surely indicate the riches available to any group or individual traveler willing to venture a bit “off of the beaten track” to delve into the byways of American history. 

I certainly enjoyed my visits, all easily “do-able” in just a two-day span, and I expect that you would, too!         

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”. 

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

Bob Hoelscher at Pecos National Historic Park

Pecos National Historic Park