Chaco Canyon 1/undefined by Tripoto

Chaco Canyon

Mike
Coming from Santa Fe, I was working my way through New Mexico. Chaco Canyon is located in the northwester part of the state, near the “Four Corners” area. The elevation is around 6500′ and so the weather this time of year was absolutely perfect, maybe 80 for a high and 50s for a low. As I neared the area of Chaco, taking several remote county roads, I began the arduous drive down a rough dirt road. I knew I was in the right area, going in the right direction, but kept questioning how there could be a national park in an area this seemingly inaccessible. After arriving at the visitors center, I learned that the road is not paved for a reason…they intentionally want to minimize the amount of people in the park to help preserve it. It was a fairly rough journey, even in my four wheel drive truck, but let me tell you…so worth it. Chaco Canyon is a special place for many reasons. For one, it’s not that popular, so it’s a joy to explore without being inundated by crowds or traffic. One of the reasons for the lack of tourists, as I mentioned, is the dirt road as you approach the park, however once inside Chaco, all the roads (except for the camp grounds) are paved. Chaco is remarkable for its multi-storied “Great Houses,” ceremonial structures and distinctive architecture. The buildings of Chaco required considerable planning, designing, organizing of labor, and industrious engineering to construct. It’s a marvel like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s also feels like a very spiritual place…very peaceful.