Only fifteen miles southeast of Santa Fe, Thornton Ranch embodies the
quintessential Western landscape: lofty mesas, blue-grama grassland,
and rolling hills dotted with piñon, juniper, and sage. The ranch's most
striking feature is Petroglyph Hill, purchased by Santa Fe County last
year and site of archeologically significant ancient rock carvings. But
here as elsewhere around Santa Fe, encroaching development has
threatened to sever the community from open lands and archeological
resources. TPL recently transferred 656 acres of Thornton Ranch to the
county through a lease-purchase agreement, ensuring access to Petroglyph
Hill. By connecting continuous public lands, the project helped create
the county's largest contiguous open space parcel.
Explore our work
Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects. You’ll find some of our favorite places on the map below.