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The Center of an Ancient World Today the massive buildings of the ancestral Pueblo peoples still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities not seen anywhere else in the American Southwest. For a deeper contact with the canyon that was central to thousands of people between 850 and 1250 A.D., come and explore Chaco through guided tours, hiking & biking trails, evening campfire talks, and night sky programs. Park closes at sunset

Great place to look down on Pueblo Bonito complex

My wife and I hit the trail just before 8:00 am on July 12, so it was hot. Trail is flat and very easy for the first 3 miles or so. If you finish the hike to Penasco Blanco, it gets steep and passes over bedrock, so be sure to watch for the cairns. The petroglyphs and pictographs are awesome. All told, it took us about 4 hrs of actual hiking, with about 1 hr of picture taking and breaks. Did I say it was hot? Bring lots of water, use sunscreen, and wear a hat.

A bit scary climbing up, but worth every minute.

Lengthy hike to Supernova Pictograph site near the end of the trail. Trail is generally sand and dirt without much elevation gain until near the end of the trail. It is out and back. Hardly any traffic after the first two miles. I went in the early afternoon and it was quite warm, even in early May. You will want to take plenty of water and some trail food, of course. There is no cell service generally anywhere within the Park so you must take care of yourself out there. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Not much wildlife but I did see some coyote scat, some birds, a couple of lizards and one large snake.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hiking

hiking
4 months ago

A short backcountry hike in Chaco Canyon, with breathtaking rewards...

The Pueblo Alto trail starts formally at Kin Kletsin which is a short walk from the Pueblo del Arroyo parking lot. It can be hiked as an out & back, or a longer teardrop route.

The beginning of the trail is a steep climb up the northwest side of the canyon, and is somewhat exposed before entering a narrow slot. It quickly reaches the canyon rim, and takes off southeast to contour the canyon, heading to a dramatic overlook of Pueblo Bonito. There are several interesting features to see along the way; watch for wooden park signs pointing them out.

Turning northward, the path climbs at a more leisurely pace, ascending to the Pueblo Alto and New Alto ruins with an expansive view of the canyon below. Directly south on the top of South Mesa, lies Tsin Kletsin, and to the northwest-west, is Peñasco Blanco, the two other clifftop great houses of Chaco Canyon.

This hike was easy enough to bring my eleven year old Vizsla along, but even in April, it's important to carry a couple of liters of water as the trail is primarily in the open sun and can be quite hot.

Returning down the slot can be a challenging, especially in the exposed section, as some of the "steps" are fairly tall. Because of her age, I decided to carry the dog down some of these rather than let her jump.

All in all, a very worthwhile hike.

Beautiful views above the ruins. You can see for 100 Miles. Going up is a bit steep and may be difficult for people with a fear of heights. This is a great hike. Simply amazing.

hiking
6 months ago

Chaco canyon is amazing to me and this hike just added to that amazement, I am also to grateful that dogs are allowed on this hike. The trail ascends the bluffs overlooking one of the sites at Chaco Canyon-Pueblo Bonito. The trail ascends through a crack in the bluff, and while easier than the stairways (ladders really) built into cliff walls still a fun challenging little climb. Along the trail are great overlooks of the ruins in the canyon/valley below as well as a view of Jackson Stairway, an ancient one ladder up the side of the bluff/cliff. Really amazing to contemplate all of the activity that must have existed here back in the day.

hiking
7 months ago

Gorgeous hike! We took 2 dogs, a golden and a golden doodle up this hike, there're two narrow sections where they're a bit nervous, but overall a pretty easy hike for humans. Carry a lot of water, and the view of the ruins from above looks amazing. Campground at Gallo is amazing too but crazy cold, 6F at night.

This was beautiful! It is definitely worth it to see the Crab Nebula petrographs and making it to the top was cool!!

Gorgeous!! I definitely recommend this trail. It was one of the harder in the park, which was a nice change. Great views off of the mesa!l (especially Pueblo Bonita)
Also, I would highly recommend this at sunset. The park closes as 5, but as long as you get out around that time it shouldn't be a problem.

9 months ago

Easy gravel trail leading to pueblo ruins. Be respectful, ALL of Chaco is a sacred place.

hiking
10 months ago

Seul au monde!

I love Chaco culture in general! The history is amazing (they found jars full of cacao beans-chocolate) and the hikes are absolutely beautiful!

Great place to take kids

hiking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

hiking
Thursday, June 22, 2017

The road getting to Chaco Canyon is rough, but well worth it, although I'd avoid it after any sort of significant rain. The road becomes 23 miles of very slippery mud. There are all sorts of trails once you get into the Chaco Canyon site. The one I highly suggest is the one that takes you up the side of the cliff. It can be a bit tight and tricky getting up there, so not easy. See my pictures of the crevice you have to climb through. Once you are up there you get a bird's eye view of Pueblo Bonito and other places. They do have camp grounds. It is very hot during the summer, very cold during the winter. It is well worth it. I'd go again in a heart beat. There are so many more ruins to be explored in the Chaco Canyon Basin area.

hiking
Friday, February 17, 2017

Great hike to oversee Pueblo Bonito. Different perspective, helps to understand the size of the various pueblos. Fun climb up a crevasse to the cliff top from the valley floor.

walking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Its amazing to see what the enormity of the structure up close, it kind of feels like the US' Colosseum. Easy to walk around, some tight spaces but still manageable. There is one room that shows the original roof/floor above you and its quite amazing that it's still there. The pictographs are also very interesting and worth a glance.

walking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Easy walk around one of the bigger structures. You can really appreciate the stonework/masonry up close.

hiking
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Other than climbing a narrow passage, there is not much needed for this trail than walking. The overlook of Pueblo Bonito is stunning and if there are people walking through it, you can really appreciate the size of it.

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

An out & back trail to another ruin. It is best to combine with the ruins trail and make it a loop

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

a short route to another ruin. This one is a little more intimate as you can get closer.

walking
Friday, August 26, 2016

A minor site at Chaco.

walking
Friday, August 26, 2016

One of the minor sites at chaco.

Chaco is remote with blacktop being about 30 miles away. The route in is a rough gravel road. Your speed will be about 20 mph. Scenic in that you see barren dessert, Chaco is well worth the drive in.

Desert drive through a variety of scenery. Several places to get out of the car and take some small hikes.

Loved it!! Hiking to the top was awesome and absolutely breathtaking!!

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