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Legends Say That a Grisly Murder Stained This Famous Natural Wonder in New Mexico



The lovely and beautiful state of New Mexico is indeed astounding and filled with depth and grandeur. Housing countless and timeless natural wonders, you can count on the fact that planning a trip to this place is a treat! Out of the many amazing inherent feats, there is one destination from New Mexico that makes it special. The Echo Amphitheater in Carson National Forest is a spectacular rock formation with a spine-chilling legend. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind place. If you love to hear more about the legend, keep reading…

The Echo Amphitheater is a Special Location with a Hair-Raising Legend

Echo Amphitheater new mexico

Source: Instagram

Before we go down to the Echo Amphitheater’s deets and treats, let’s talk about the narrative behind the famous destination first. Legends and locations seem to be quite an intriguing bundle. The case of the Echo Amphitheater is no exception. “Quite the flinch-inflicting title” must be your thought the moment your eyes skimmed past the title. So let’s hear it now.

Legend says that the curved and concave sandstone cliff that is the Echo Amphitheater was once a sight of a series of gruesome murders. Yes, that’s right. You must be thinking, “Who in the right mind would think that a murder site is a recommendable and remarkable travel place?” Hold up, just listen for a moment. According to legend, the curved sandstone cliff wall, presently the Echo Amphitheater, was the site where a group of Najavo killed a family of settlers. The word is that the victims were brought and killed at the top of the cliff, blood flowing down the cliff walls and staining it scarlet.

Echo Amphitheater murder stains

Source: Instagram

There is also a popular belief in a story parallel to this, where years later, as retaliation; the Navajo people were killed in the same spot, once again staining the sandstone cliff walls. But to be perfectly clear, there is little to no evidence that this series of murders really took place. That doesn’t mean no one believes the story, though. Some people really believe that it is the story behind the fascinating coloration of the sandstone cliff wall.

Sure Enough, the Echo Amphitheater is a Natural Amphitheater with Stained Walls

New mexico legends weird

Source: Instagram

We saved this for last because this is the most redeeming factor of the Echo Amphitheater. The scarlet vertical markings stain the cliff walls of the concave-shaped natural amphitheater, mimicking an artist’s stroke on a canvas. Its distinct color from the stratified layers of mineral-polished rocks, makes it indeed look like blood that flowed and dried.

The Echo Amphitheater is also called an “amphitheater” for an obvious reason. The place holds unique auditory properties you can’t find in a regular natural wonder. You can shout to the top of your lungs, scream all the anger out of your heart, and the walls will wail it right back at you! It’s kind of nice.

It’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an adventure for your soul, or if you are passing along the highway. You would even find the reverberation of the echoes quite amusing. In fact, the natural bowl shape that helps “create” the acoustics will make you want to play with it again and again. Just listen to the wind as it blows, or focus on the sound of the crows. All you need to do is to be one with nature.

Some believe that the echoes from the Echo Amphitheater are not just reflections of sound waves or by its geography, but rather laments of the dead. Either way, it’s definitely a fun place to visit! Although we do wish that they are just echoes and not voices of the restless dead.

In Case You Plan to Visit This Natural Wonder

Echo Amphitheater nm must visit

Source: Instagram

  • If you find yourself longing to come here, know that there is a two-dollar (2$) entrance fee per car, and there are campgrounds, picnic tables, and restroom facilities available as well. It is around 15 miles southwest of Canjilon via the US 84, and 15 miles northwest of Abiquiu.
  • The best time to visit the Echo Amphitheater is from March 1st to October 31st.
  • It’s not really hard to go to this incredible site. There is only a short walk leading up to the Echo Amphitheater. There is also plenty of space for many visitors to soak it up.
  • Some campers love spending the night in their cars so they can wake up to a spectacular sunrise. That will make you see the vivid colors of the amphitheater back wall which face east.


This wonderful formation is temporarily closed. Make sure you may contact the Carson National Forest at (575) 758-6200 to check for the schedule before heading here.

What do you think of the Echo Amphitheater?

If you want to check out other unique sights, make sure to read the Complete Guide to 10 of the Most Beautiful Waterfalls You Can Find in New Mexico. Or you can head to these 10 Breaking Bad Film Locations!

A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Errot with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring.