New Mexico: Chaco Canyon


Chaco Canyon contains 15 large archeological sites spread over a wide area in a desolate part of northwest New Mexico. The main three-story complex at Pueblo Bonita contains 15 kivas with thousands of individual rooms.  

Chaco was a spiritual site for the Anasazi between 850 and 1250 AD. It’s believed that the Anasazi Indians traveled up to 200 miles to come to the Chaco sites at various times of the year, coinciding with alignment to the lunar and solar cycles. Although massive in size, many believe that very few – if any – Indians lived here. 


Now protected by the National Park Service, Chaco Canyon is a National Historic Park of New Mexico. They offer camping, guided tours, an array of hiking and biking trails, evening campfire talks and night sky programs.  

Efforts to protect the greater Chaco region surrounding the canyon and put a permanent stop to oil and gas development on sacred lands are still in full force. The impressive structures still testify to the abilities of the ancient Puebloan people as engineering feats unseen anywhere else in the American Southwest. 



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