Looking for a great trail in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico? AllTrails has 17 great hiking trails, views trails, kid friendly trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 12 easy trails in Chaco Culture National Historical Park ranging from 0.7 to 23.4 miles and from 6,108 to 6,942 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

views

kid friendly

walking

hiking

no dogs

nature trips

historic site

camping

dogs on leash

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

Only had a day and a half at Chaco. Getting there (lots people complain about the dirt roads in) more than worth it. I’d say, with respect, those complaints are overblown when considering you’re accessing a world heritage site and one of the most amazing things you’ll experience. We took shorter route in from the North. Rangers and hosts super helpful. Camped in the walk-in tent spots at Gallo. Definitely do the guided tours at 10am daily. They’re incredibly knowledgeable. This walk was amazing: a must do. Very short, just obviously bring water. Will be back for more exploration in future.

on Pueblo Pintado

hiking
scramble
1 month ago

Photo scramble. Chaco culture outlier ruins. Detailed rock vener. Beautiful at the golden hour!

hiking
2 months ago

I didn't do the full loop because I ran out of sun light. A sunset overlooking Pueblo Bonito is not a bad sight my friends. One of the most spiritual sunsets I have ever experienced. Do it.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Took the dog on this trail. The start was intense for the dog, but he handled it well. Zero shade once up top.

3 months ago

Fabulous! Love this!

hiking
no shade
scramble
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

I didn't know how long and muddy the road was going to be or I may not have attempted the drive in the winter. Get gas first because there is not any services at all nearby. However, the park was astonishing once I got to it and the Peublo Alto Trail was breathtaking. In the winter I had the whole park to myself. There is a welcome center and you must sign in and carry a permit.

hiking
5 months ago

Pay attention to park hours. It closed at 4:00 pm on March 25th, 2019, not at sunset as signs said in the park! Also, warning the last 4 miles of the northeast dirt road entrance was washboard (very bumpy). Took half hour to go 4 miles. But the Park was excellent! The hiking was somewhat like bouldering in places, very fun, and was well marked.

hiking
5 months ago

An easy short trail right next to the visitor's center. The ruins aren't as impressive as Pueblo Bonito, but they are still a marvel.

hiking
5 months ago

The ruins are interesting, but there was a large herd of elk grazing here a good part of the day. Someone else said the herd had been there when they had visited earlier so I guess this is a routine part of their day.

hiking
5 months ago

I walked this with 4 kids (ages 5-7) and we all had a blast. I'm 6-3 and I had to crawl through one doorway and stoop way down for quite a few others. The children were very upset when we first approached the ruins because there were folks inside. Once they realized they would get to go inside they were ecstatic. I recommend buying the trail guide ($1) at the visitor's center because there isn't any descriptions of what you are looking at on the trail. There is a spot where you can walk on down to a cemetery, but the trail had some pretty deep sand (and there is another easier spot to get to the cemetery just down the road) so we turned around. However, a short ways down the cemetery trail you can see some names (I'm guessing from some of the early white explorers - 1917 was next to one) on the cliffs. The kids spotted those right away, but it took me some time to see them.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing views especially at Pueblo Alto

9 months ago

remembering... a trip worth the ice packs

an amazing view of Pueblo Bonito!

this site is on the Penasco Blanco Ruins site trail and as far as the cyclist can take their bikes. easy hike.

very nice hike on a beautiful October day! great view of the Canyon from ruins site. route is easy with some climbing required to reach the mesa. definitely bring plenty of water!

Easy hike with slight incline in the latter half. Very hot in summer months, bring plenty of water as there is little shade for most of the journey. Petroglyphs were cool to see along the route. Absolute silence if alone.

Great place to look down on Pueblo Bonito complex

hiking
Saturday, July 14, 2018

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.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A bit scary climbing up, but worth every minute.

hiking
Thursday, May 10, 2018

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
Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Great hiking

hiking
Wednesday, April 04, 2018

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.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

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
Sunday, February 18, 2018

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
Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

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.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

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

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