NAME: Quarai
COUNTY: Torrance
CLIMATE: Cold Winters and Hot Summers
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Spring or Fall
COMMENTS: North of Mountainair on 55 just west of the town of Punta de Agua. It's easy to find and definitely worth the visit. Watch out for Rattle Snakes in the warm months.
REMAINS: Large Mission with surrounding pueblos.

The Quarai ruins at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, located near the land grant community of Manzano, were once home to 300 to 400 Tiwa pueblo-dwellers and feature a massive sandstone church. More than 300 years ago, a Tiwa pueblo near the modern-day village of Manzano was a bustling center of trade and one of the few places in North America where Native Americans were met by Europeans. At Quarai, the church once known as Nuestra Se´┐Żora de La Purisima Concepcion de Cuarac, stands about 40 feet tall, with walls three to six feet wide. The church at Quarai was built during the late 1620s or early 1630s and still includes its original buttresses and some original plaster. It was abandoned in 1677 after a combination of drought, disease and Apache raids drove the residents from the area. Artifacts ranging from Spanish spear heads to pottery shards have been found among the ruins. Most of the pueblo remains unexcavated, and Fulfer said that makes the park vulnerable to visitors who wander off the gray gravel trail. Submitted by: Tyson Woodul

QUARI. Tigua Indian, kwa-ri. Site of a spanish mission 10 mi NW of Mountainair. Founded in 1629; now in ruins. The remains of the old church are the most imposing left standing of the 'cities that died of fear.' The stone walls were over 60 ft high and 5 or 6 ft thick, but have crumbled to 20 ft in height. This was a Tiwa pueblo which was abandoned between 1671 and 1680 when the road to Salina was blocked by Apache Indians. Created a state monument in 1935.` Submitted by: Samuel W McWhorter

Mission Ruins
Courtesy Tyson Woodul

Mission Ruins
Courtesy Tyson Woodul