Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Quick Facts

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

New Mexico

(505) 786-7014

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

This hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area is unlike anything before or since its time. Chaco Culture National Historical Park is remarkable for its multi-storied public buildings, ceremonial buildings, and distinctive architecture. All of these structures required considerable planning, designing, organizing of labor, and engineering to construct.  The Chacoan people combined many elements to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture. Pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering are all a part of the unique design that still awes and inspires visitors a thousand years later.

Map of Chaco

Latitude, Longitude: 36.063800, -107.970800

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    The nine-mile loop drive is open to bicycles as are the Wijiji, Kin Klizhin, and Case Chiquita trails.

  • Camping

    Gallo Campground, located one mile east of the Visitor Center, is open year-round. This site offers camping in a rugged environment surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site has a picnic table and fire grate with a grill. The campground has water and restrooms with flush toilets. Site number 16 and both restrooms are handicap accessible.

    The Gallo Campground Group Sites offers two group campsites (10 to 30 people in each). The maximum capacity of the group campground is 60 people. Group campground reservations must be made in advance by calling the park.

  • Hiking

    Four different backcountry hiking trails are offered in Chaco Culture National Historical Park. These trails range from a level, three-mile round-trip hike, to trails over seven-miles long with climbs up to 450 feet. Free backcountry hiking permits are available at the visitor center and all trailheads. Leashed pets are permitted on the trails.

  • Picnicking

    Picnic tables and shade shelters are located near the parking lot of the visitor center.

Seasonality/Weather

Summer highs are typically 80 F to mid-90 F. Thunderstorms can produce heavy localized downpours and sudden dramatic drops in temperatures. Hypothermia, lightning, and flash floods are real concerns.

Winter temperatures will drop to well below freezing most nights. If you plan to camp in the winter, prepare for nighttime temperatures in the teens or lower.

Spring and Fall are great times to visit with more moderate temperatures, but unexpected storms can change things dramatically. Monitor local weather forecasts.

When hiking the canyon, be prepared for heat, rain, wind, and unexpected changes in temperature. Carry a rain poncho and a jacket or sweater. Wear hiking boots and a wide-brimmed hat, and use sunscreen. Carry and drink extra water, bring extra snacks, and take your time adjusting to the altitude.

Park Partners

The Friends of Chaco

(505) 786-7014

Directions

Driving

The preferred and recommended access route to the park is from the north, via US 550 (formerly NM 44) and County Road (CR) 7900, and CR 7950. From the north, turn off US 550 at CR 7900, three-miles southeast of Nageezi and approximately 50-miles west of Cuba (at mile 112.5). This route is clearly signed from US 550 to the park boundary (21 miles). The route includes eight-miles of paved road (CR 7900) and 13-miles of rough dirt road (CR7950).

From the south, two routes access Chaco from Highway 9, which runs between Crownpoint, Pueblo Pintado, and Cuba. Both routes can vary from very rough to impassable. Not recommended for RVs. If you are traveling from the south, please call ahead for the latest conditions.

Flying

The nearest airports are Farmington, New Mexico, Durango,Colorado, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(505) 786-7014

Links