Echo amphitheatre

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Location of the Echo Amphitheater within New Mexico

Echo Amphitheater is a natural amphitheater located in Rio Arriba County, in northern New Mexico in the southwestern United States, about 17 miles (27 km) west of Abiquiú and about 4 miles (7 km) up the road from Ghost Ranch.


In the spring of 1861, a group of settlers from Iowa were farming in northern New Mexico when they were set upon by a band of Navajo who had ventured into the region. The settlers (one family was the Zendalters and another family was the Treblers) were taken to the top of the amphitheater and executed. Their blood spilled into the amphitheater, staining its walls. Three years later, when the Navajo were being forced on the "Long Walk" to Bosque Redondo by the U.S. Army, ten Navajo men were killed at the top of the amphitheater in retribution for the earlier deaths. Once again, blood spilled down the walls of the amphitheater. The blood seeped into the pores of the rock and dried and supposedly is still visible today. It is said that in the echoes returned from the cliff's walls one can hear the anguished cries of the dead.

Sandstone cliffs near the Echo Amphitheater.
Rock face and desert varnish in the Echo Amphitheater.

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