Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Address: Chaco Canyo Nageezi NM
Phone: (505)786-7014 e
Directions: Follow US 550 and exit at CR7900. Follow CR7900 all the way to CR7950 to reach the Chaco Canyon visitor center. Visitor be warned, the CR7950 is an over 13 miles of unpaved dirt road with washboard surface. Car shook violently as you drive through it. The 13 miles can turned into more than a hour drive.

The park opens everyday from sunrise to sunset, though the visitor center is closed on most of the federal holidays.

Chaco was once a metropolitan city for the ancient Pueblo Indians dated between 850 and 1250 AD. In Acoma, it is called W’aasrba Shak’a (place of greasewood). The area also was a part of home for the Hopi and Navajo Indians.

There are over 100 sites in Chaco Canyon and along side of those ancient ruins, millions of artifacts were recovered. The total stretch of Chaco Canyon sites were built along the ten-miles stretch of canyon floor. There were buildings with several stories, large circular kivas that were used for hosting rituals, long city walls that guarded the houses, underground rooms for storage, and great houses that used for ceremonial gathering…

Among these sites were Chacra Mesa, Hungo Pavi, Chetro Ketl, Pueblo Alto Complex, Casa Chiquita, Penasco Blanco, Kin Kletso, Pueblo del Arroyo, Bueblo Bonito, Casa Rinconada, Tsin Kletsin… Each site is build with its own unique layout. Though many share the similarities, several different types of architectural styles are exhibited.

The place is awe-striking. Among the ruins, large South American parrot bones were found, indicating the place once held trades of large magnitude. A lot of its neatly lined wall, windows, and doorway were still standing tall today. The once white stucco wall now are only lined with rocks. In area, the clear sign of abandonment is indicated by collapse wall, tall weeds, and corrupting wood support; in other area, a perfectly square window gazed into the far distance, offered the modern visitor a desolate streets that once people hassled and bustled around…

Overall, the sheer size of the place is just overwhelming. To think such splendid city would one day fallen into such abandonment led one to think of our own big cities.

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