Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
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Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails, NM
2011-01-0949 by
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Northwest, NM
Hiking10.00 Miles          
No Routes
1st Trip Logged
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I have been to Chaco canyon several times, but this time I chose to hike the trail system. I went on Christmas eve and Christmas day. which turned out to be an excellent choice. Cold but higher than normal temps and best of all I had all the trails and park to myself. I hiked the Wijiji trail, Penasco Blanco trail, and the Pueblo alto trail. The Wijiji trail was a flat road trail to a ruin in the canyon floor was 3.2 miles round trip although not the best ruin in the park the easy hike makes it worthwhile. Penasco Blanco trail can be combined with the Petroglyph trail for a combined7.2 miles round trip, it crosses the canyon and climbs out of the canyon to Penasco Blanco ruins up on the Mesa top. the ruin is remarkable because of its size and incredible view from the mesa top, unfortunatley it is in a further state of deterioration than the canyon floor ruins which are better protected from the wind. along the way the petroglyph trail gives numerous views of.....thats right petroglyphs and although modest a view of three small red paitings under an overhang of a hand,moon and what is thougt to be a star that represents a super nova that would have been witnessed in 1054AD. last the Pueblo alto trail that also climbs out of the canyon and gives impressive views of nearby canyon floor ruins including the largest in the park (Pueblo Bonito) that is estimated to have had 650 rooms. this trail also included a destination of Pueblo alto and nuevo alto ruins on the mesa top along an ancient anasazi road where travelers would have had to pass thru when arriving in Chaco. this was by far my favorite trail because of the views and the ability to take in somewhat the overall layout and feel of the the entire area. I have been on countless hikes thruout the southwest and recently have concentrated my hiking on visiting ancient ruins.Without a doubt chaco is a must see and if one were to combine this site with visiting Mesa Verde National Park one would have an experience of a life time that they would never forget
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