Mystery Stone Near Los Lunas, New Mexico: Hike to This Hidden Wonder

The Mystery Stone near Los Lunas, New Mexico is a hidden wonder -- almost too well-hidden, I grumbled to my husband as we climbed a trail.

No one knows who chiseled the 216 characters on the 80-ton boulder, or when. Some scholars speculate it's thousands of years old, while others believe it's a college student prank.

The stone stands at the base of a steep trail that leads to the ruins of a Native American village. If you're in good physical shape, hiking the half mile to this site is definitely worth your time, although we found the climb to the summit a bit strenuous.

Los Lunas is on State Highway 314, about 22 miles south of Albuquerque and just east of I-25 (Exit 203). The Mystery Stone is about 16 miles west on State Highway 6.

To visit, you must obtain a $25 permit from the New Mexico State Land Office (310 Old Santa Fe Trail) in Santa Fe. The office provides a map. For details, call 1-505-827-5724.

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