Warning: The 13 miles of dirt road before you get there are very poorly maintained by San Juan County. This was the only downfall. It's a dirt road, and it just seems to go on and on. Much of that road is filled with dead trees and grasses. We did spot prairie dogs popping their heads up here and there. That was fun to see. As far as the road goes, that was the only bad part of our trip to see Chaco Culture National Park.
This is what you see when you first get into the park:
There is a lot of strata layering of rocks, which is so interesting! I love that the ground was reddish, but some of the rocks were tan and white.
They do have a Visitor's Center. It has maps and a gift shop. The park is open every day from 7 to sunset. The Visitor Center is open from 8 to 5. Daddy picked up a book, and the boys got cowboy hats. They were eying cowboy hats in Colorado Springs, but they were more than I wanted to spend. The boy's hats in the Culture National Park Visitor's Center were around $3 each! That was their souvenir. Mica in particular loved his hat! From that moment on Mica wore his hat with most everything.
Isaak doesn't do well when the sun's in his eyes. I had to laugh because my youngest sister Terra didn't as a kid either. Maybe it's a youngest thing?!
Massive buildings of the ancestral Pueblo peoples still testify to the organizational and engineering abilities in the American Southwest. These structures were built between 850 and 1250 A.D. There's also interesting rock formations around them.
Rock formations that surround the Pueblo village.
The villages themselves - I thought they were so interesting!
This spot has the largest site of Chacoan ruins, which date back at least a millennium and contain a remarkable set of masonry structures that served its inhabitants as a ritual, ceremonial, and communal center for 300 years or so. Pueblo Bonito, for instance, is thought to have been the world's largest apartment building housing upwards of 1,300 people, a size not eclipsed until the late 1880s. I guess a lot of the ruins have been removed before it became a national park. :(
A guy was walking right behind me that said he went to a concert there before it became a national park. He said the acoustics were amazing!
An Outside View:
An Inside View:
They had plenty of windows and doors, but no roof protection from natural elements of the earth. People might of been shorter back then. I have no clue. The doors were so short.
I look funny squatting.
I was in their upstairs looking down.
Daddy wants one of their fire pits.
Even though the road getting there was bad, I strongly recommend checking this place out! We went on a self guided tour. Believe it, or not I have twice as many photos than I posted. I know it seems like photo overload.
Kid Alert: There is no touching! You can walk through the structures, but you can't touch things. There is a trail leading up to get into the structures. You can't go off their trails. This was a little hard for our boys to understand. Isaak was thinking, it's outdoors, so why can't they go ahead and touch? They just don't want anything to happen to this place. Isaak got snapped at a few times. I have to say they were pretty good though. They loved walking through Chaco Culture National Historial Park.