Friday, July 11, 2014

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

One of my favorite spots on our vacation was Chaco Culture National Park. It's located in New Mexico. This is a remote network of ruins offering a glimpse into ancestral Puebloan life, picnic areas, camping and stargazing can be enjoyed there. There is an $8 fee for one vehicle to enter the park. There is an additional fee for camping.

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:

This is one of my favorite shots minus the rope and wood holding it together. In some spots there is rope and wood there to help keep  the structure in tact.

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.


Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Your pictures are amazing!! I would love to go there. It's gorgeous.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I would love to go there! Your pictures are so gorgeous.

~ Noelle said...

that would be torture... not able to touch things.. lol

Masshole Mommy said...

I would love to spend an afternoon there looking at everything.

The Cranky said...

This is one of the places I've always wanted to go; how wonderful that you shared it with us!

mail4rosey said...

I do imagine the acoustic would be amazing for a concert! The pics you got are awesome.

Theresa Mahoney said...

Hahaha! Those hats are hilarious! Seriously, you guys traveled to some really cool places. I agree about the no touching. That would suck!

Liz Mays said...

I remember going there as a child and finding it all incredibly fascinating too! I love the rock layering!

Harry Flashman said...

Anasazi culture collapsed violently and abruptly. There was wide spread cannibalism during the implosion. If you google Cowboy Wash you'll find interesting articles on that society, and there's a book by an anthropologist named Turner called "Man Corn" that is excellent.

Eat To Live said...

You are so busy on your vacation that you will need a vacation just to rest from your vacation.


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