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New Mexico

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Chaco Culture National Historical Park
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Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Nageezi, New Mexico   87037-0220
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Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves one of America's most significant and fascinating cultural and historic areas.

Chaco Canyon was a major center of ancestral Puebloan culture between AD 850 and 1250. It was a hub of ceremony, trade, and administration for the prehistoric Four Corners area - unlike anything before or since.

Chaco is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings, and its distinctive architecture. To construct the buildings, along with the associated Chacoan roads, ramps, dams, and mounds, required a great deal of well organized and skillful planning, designing, resource gathering, and construction. The Chacoan people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping, and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture - one that still amazes and inspires us a thousand years later.

The Chacoan cultural sites are fragile and irreplaceable and represent a significant part of America's cultural heritage. The sites are part of the sacred homeland of Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico, the Hopi Indians of Arizona, and the Navajo Indians of the Southwest, all of whom continue to respect and honor them.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a very special place. Remote and isolated, it offers few amenities, so come prepared. You will find that the rewards are unlimited.
Featured Areas within the Park
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
Gallo Campground, Open All Year

Details : Gallo Campground, located one mile east of the Visitor Center, is open year-round. Tucked amongst the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The 48 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping is limited to 7 days. Trailers and RVs over 30 feet in length can not be accommodated. A dump station is located in the campground. Each campsite costs $10.00 per night. Golden Age and Golden Access cardholders pay $5.00 per site, per night. There is a limit of six people, two tents, and two vehicles at each campsite. Each site has a picnic table and fire grate (with a grill). Bring your own firewood or charcoal. Gathering wood is prohibited and no firewood is available in the park. Most sites include a tent pad. Pets are permitted, but must be kept on a leash at all times. Do not approach or feed the wildlife. The campground has water (non-potable) and restrooms with flush toilets. Site #16 and both restrooms are handicap accessible. There are no showers or hook-ups. Drinking water is available 24 hours a day in the Visitor Center parking area, where telephones are located as well. There is no gasoline, auto repair, food, or ice available in the park. To make the most of your visit, please plan ahead and come prepared.

Gallo Campground Group Sites, Open All Year

Details : Two group campsites (10 to 30 people in each) are available. The maximum capacity of the group campground is 60 people. Group campground reservations must be made in advance by calling the park at (505) 786-7014 ext. 221. The cost for group camping is $2.00 per person, per night with a minimum fee of $25.00. Campers with Golden Age or Golden Access cards pay $1.00 per person, per night. The group campsites are designed for tent camping, and can not accommodate RVs, pop-up trailers, etc. There is sufficient parking for 4-5 vehicles in each group site. Picnic tables and a fire ring (with a grill) are provided at each site. There are restrooms with flush toilets, but no showers or hook-ups. Firewood and charcoal are not available in the park, so bring your own. Wood gathering is not permitted. Drinking water is available at the Visitor Center parking area. When you arrive, your group will be assigned to a site in the group area. The area in the group campground will be reserved for your group until 5:00 p.m. on the date of your time planned arrival. Please call the park if you cannot arrive by that time or if you need to change or cancel your reservations. Unless you notify the park ahead of time, your reserved sites will be opened to other campers after 5:00 p.m.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is

Bicycling at Chaco is limited, however, you are welcome to ride on the canyon roads that are open to other visitor vehicles. Be very careful while biking, watch out for hikers, wildlife, and cars. Do not ride off the developed roads and trails. We recommend that all bikers wear headgear. Be sure to carry plenty of water (especially on hot days). Bike stands are located at all trail and ruin parking lots. Bicycles are prohibited within any ruins and on the trails not designated for biking. The cultural and natural resources at Chaco are very fragile and are not renewable. Please do not collect or disturb any plants, animals, rocks, or artifacts during your visit. Do not climb or walk on the ruin walls, they are centuries old and even the stabilized ones may not be safe. There are only two backcountry trails open to bicycling.

Area Attractions
Aztec Ruins National Monument, 69 miles.

Mesa Verde National Park, 140 miles.

El Morro National Monument, 110 miles.

Navajo National Monument, 223 miles.

Canyon De Chelly National Monument, 184 miles.

El Malpais National Monument, 97 miles.

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Nearby Hotels


The nearest airports are Farmington, NM, Durango,CO, and Albuquerque, NM.


Chaco Canyon is located in northwestern New Mexico. The preferred and recommended access route to the park is from the north, via US 550 (formerly NM 44) and County Road (CR) 7900, and CR 7950.

From the north, turn off US 550 at CR 7900--3 miles southeast of Nageezi and approximately 50 miles west of Cuba (at mile 112.5). This route is clearly signed from US 550 to the park boundary (21 miles). The route includes 5 miles of paved road (CR 7900) and 16 miles of rough dirt road(CR 7950).

From the south, two routes access Chaco from Highway 9, which runs between Crownpoint, Pueblo Pintado, and Cuba. Both routes can vary from very rough to impassable. Not recommended for RVs. If you are traveling from the south, please call ahead for the latest conditions.

Via Hwy 57: This turnoff is located on Highway 9, 13 miles east of Highway 371, at the former Seven Lakes Trading Post. (20 miles of dirt)

Via Pueblo Pintado: At the community of Pueblo Pintado, turn north on Navajo 46 for 10 miles (rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7900 for 7 miles (rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7950, and follow the signs for 16 miles (dirt) to the park entrance. (33 miles of dirt)

The northern and southern routes include 16, 20, and 33 miles of dirt roads, respectively. These sections of road are infrequently maintained, and they can become impassable during inclement weather. Call the park (505-786-7014) for current road conditions.

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