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Wijiji Trail, NM

Guide 8 Triplogs  1 Topic
  3.2 of 5 
5 8 1
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,215 feet
Elevation Gain 20 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.1
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2018-05-21
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
30  2018-05-21
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
5  2011-06-20 squatpuke
60  2010-06-18
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 216
Photos 5,948
Trips 1,080 map ( 2,419 miles )
Age 40 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May → Early
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  4:54am - 7:31pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Easy hike to isolated Great House.
by PaleoRob

Chaco Canyon is an amazing showcase of prehistoric Native American culture. While most people who come to Chaco visit mainly the Bonito-phase Great Houses like Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl, other Great Houses lay outside the main park drive. One such is Wijiji Pueblo, a short hike up Chaco Canyon from the park road or the campground. Wijiji is the smallest Great House within Chaco Canyon, and also the furthest east within the Park. It shows an unusual later style of construction, still with core-and-veneer construction, but without the haphazard building style of Bonito or Pueblo del Arroyo. From the trailhead, the trail heads south until reaching the bottom of Chaco Wash. The hike is essentially flat along the bottom of Chaco Wash, and the trail, while sandy, is well maintained for a service road as well as a hiking trail.

Once you round the corner about 1/4 mile after the trail head and begin heading east, the trail is both flat and straight. Bring binoculars, as petroglyphs are present on the cliff walls to the north of the trail. It is also very important to bring lots of water, as this hike provides no chance for shade until reaching Wijiji Pueblo itself, and no water at all. Fill up at the Visitor's Center. The name Wijiji is of unknown origin, and lays near the north canyon wall. Being composed of the same material as the cliffs behind it, it blends in until you are almost upon it.

Wijiji differs from other Chacoan Great Houses not just in its single-phase of construction, but in other factors too. There are no Great Kivas at Wijiji. The plaza is open as well, whereas other Great Houses generally have closed plazas. Wijiji was also the last major Chacoan Great House in Chaco Canyon to be completed before the Chaco system collapsed sometime after 1100 AD.

After walking around the ruins of Wijiji and enjoying the silence, return to the trailhead the same way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2007-12-22 PaleoRob
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Chaco Canyon HP National Park
    $8 per vehicle good for 7 days Entrance Fee

    Map Drive
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Grants, NM, take NM Route 605 north. Turn left onto NM Route 509, and continue north, until reaching Navajo Route 9. Turn left on Route 9 until you reach NM Route 57. Turn right. All turns are clearly marked for Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

    WARNING! NM Route 57 is dirt and poorly maintained. It is passable to cars in dry weather, but is badly washboarded, washed out, and chug-holed. During wet weather, it may not be passable even to high-clearance 4x4 vehicles. Driving this road in wet weather is at your own risk - be prepared to turn around or be stuck if you chose to.

    Once reaching the park, Route 57 turns to a nice paved road. Go to the visitor center and pay the fee and your free back country permit for Wijiji Pueblo. Drive east on the park road towards the campground. As the road bends north to leave Chaco Canyon into a side canyon, there is a small pull-out on the right side. Park there - the trail begins here.

    If you are camping in the campground, you can walk down the park road 1/10 mile to this pull out as well.
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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