Walk in the back country
The trail to Peñasco Blanco is about 6 miles roundtrip, and well worth the effort. The trail passes by Pueblo del Arroyo, Kin Kletso, and Casa Chiquita. Beyond Casa Chiquita, there is a spur trail that passes by many petroglyphs carved into the canyon walls. After the spur rejoins the main trail, you continue walking along the Chaco Wash. Near the end of the trail, you cross the wash, and start up the other side of the canyon. Another short spur leads you to the most famous of the petroglyphs in the park, the so-called supernova petroglyphs. After returning to the trail, follow the cairns to Peñasco Blanco.
Campground at Chaco Canyon
The primitive campgound at Chaco Canyon National Historic Park is operated by the National Park Service. There are 47 sites and vehicles up to 30 feet long can park here. The limited facilities include flush toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables.
The camping fee is $10 and visits are limited to seven days.
Chaco Canyon (Pueblo Bonito)
The builders of Pueblo Bonito knew when they started that they were going to build four or five stories but the walls weren't erected in a single operation. As the height for each story was reached, beams were built into the wall, and the ceiling covered to provide a platform from which to work while raising the walls another stage.
Constructed over three acres of land around 850 A.D., Pueblo Bonito had five stories, 800 rooms and 40 kivas housing 1,200 Anasazi - ancestors of today's Pueblo Indians.
The Chacoans were highly-skilled masons, building their cities of sandstone blocks mortared with mud, without metals tools or formal mathematical knowledge.
Pueblo Bonito - Chaco Canyon
Pueblo Bonito is a massive semi-circular "great house" that was used from 850 A.D. to around 1150. It encompasses many ceremonial kivas as interconnected cells.
OPEN: Memorial Day-Labor Day, daily 8-6
Labor Day-Memorial Day, daily 8-5
ADMISSION: $8 per vehicle
Climb the Hill
Climb the trail that goes up the cliffs overlooking Chaco Canyon. It is totally worth it. You get fantastic views of the ruins.
- National/State Park
Corner Window at Pueblo Bonito
On the morning of the winter solstice in December, the rays of the rising sun shine through this window and strike the opposite corner of the room behind it.