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Kin Bineola, NM

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Guide 9 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Northwest
5 of 5 by 4
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,037 feet
Elevation Gain 15 feet
Accumulated Gain 30 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.15
Interest Ruins, Historic & Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
10  2011-06-19 PaleoRob
12  2011-06-19 Trishness
11  2011-06-19 squatpuke
40  2011-06-18
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
30  2010-06-21 PaleoRob
12  2010-06-20 Randal_Schulhaus
60  2010-06-18
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
Author PaleoRob
author avatar Guides 137
Routes 111
Photos 5,253
Trips 942 map ( 2,097 miles )
Age 38 Male Gender
Location Grand Junction, CO
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Mar → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:56am - 6:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Geology Nearby
Culture Nearby
If it ain't windy, you ain't tryin'
by PaleoRob

Overview: Kin Bineola is one of several major Chacoan outliers that are protected by the National Park Service at Chaco Culture National Historic Park. It actually lays within a part of CCNHP that is isolated from the main part of the park. Kin Bineola means "House of the Whirlwind" in the Navajo language.

Warning: Kin Bineola is very isolated, hot in the summer, and dry. The nearest services are 24 miles away in Crownpoint. Lake Valley, 8 miles down the dirt road, has very limited services and hours. Kin Bineola is surrounded by tribal and private land - be sure you are not trespassing by staying on the designated route.

History: Kin Bineola lays 9 miles southwest from the South Gap, a main entrance to Chaco Canyon. Halfway between Kin Bineola and South Gap lays another Chacoan outlier, Kin Klezhin. All three are connected by a Chacoan roadway. The first Anglo to discover and explore Kin Bineola was Richard Wetherill in the late 1800's. The site itself started life in the early-mid 900's (tree ring dates of 923 to the middle 940's have been found). The initial construction of Kin Bineola was T-shaped, with simple Type I masonry typical of early Chaco sites. That masonry type and the dates from the tree rings indicate that Kin Bineola was going up at the same time as many of the well-known Chaco Canyon sites. Based on the size (or rather, lack) of the midden and its contents, archaeologists have determined that Kin Bineola not occupied very often, if at all, during its period of utility. The only debris and refuse found from the 900's are from the construction period.

After a almost 150 years, Kin Bineola was expanded into its current E shape. Again, the refuse mounds remained small. While there is some evidence that at least a caretaker population lived nearby, based on the fact that agricultural ditches exist in the area, there is no hard evidence for farming in a manner that would have supported a large population. The area that Kin Bineola is located does not have a shallow water table, nor does water consistently flow through the Kim-me-ni-oli Wash nearby. Almost certainly, anyone living at Kin Bineola would have required imported food, likely the nearby Lake Valley site, some 4 miles down the Kim-mi-ni-oli Wash, near the confluence with the Rio Chaco.

In prehistoric times, two roads existed from Kin Bineola - one leaving from the southeast side of the building that can still be faintly seen, and another heading northeast towards South Gap and Kin Klezhin.

Hike: The hike is a one-mile, round trip hike. Passing through a hiker's make at the parking area, you will be walking along a Park Service access road to the site. Near the southwest corner of the ruin there is a sign explaining a little bit about the site. The sign also has a reconstruction of what the final three-story Kin Bineola Great House would have looked like. Explore the ruin, climb the nearby hill to take in Richard Wetherill's view, and then return to your vehicle the same way that you came in.

Water Sources: None. Bring all you need, and then some extra.

Camping: Camping is not allowed in Chaco Culture National Historic Park except in designated campsites. There is only one location that has designated campsites, and that is Gallo Campground.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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

2010-06-23 PaleoRob
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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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Kin Bineola
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On our way back from the long, hot Bitsi expedition, we stopped here at Kin second Chacoan Outlier/ruin; looking back at the entire weekend, this was probably the best ruin in the area IMHO. Although not as grand as Bonito, the remoteness (read:no peeps around) made this an exceptional are to explore and wonder.

Rebekah tried to catch a large collarded lizard at one of the midden piles. I was amazed at his territorial attitude...the little guy would not leave his personal 10' radius. I think his size gave her something to think about but she'll deny she didn't catch him because she was skeered.

Great sherds here.
Kin Bineola
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Chaco/Bisti Wilderness Experience 2011

Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails =>
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness =>

4 Days, 3 Nights - bliss!
313 images later (178 on Rebel XT, 135 on 7D)

Saturday June 18, 2011
-on the road from Mike Mattes' Chandler residence @ 7am
-Phoenix to Payson to Heber to Holbrook to Thoreau to Crown Point to Chaco via south entrance
-somehow arrive at Gallo Campground first, get sites 48 and 49 in the "tents-only" alcove. Campground less than half full at 2:30pm on Saturday afternoon. Estimate about 80% full come the end of the day.
-Trish (aka Trishness) and Tracy (aka Paintninaz) arrive and get site 40 since only 2 tents per site are allowed...
-Larry the Lost (aka squatpuke) arrives with daughter Rebecca (aka ???)
-time for our first trek, Chaco Canyon Overlook Trail that starts at the Gallo Campground entrance =>
-whip up BBQ chicken drumsticks with corn-on-the-cob and S'mores to feed the masses. Rebecca wins the best comment; "Hey Dad, this is way better than some granola bars for dinner".
-Rob (aka PageRob) arrives at sundown
-too many choice beers to be "slumming it" with a Caguama
-Camp fire discussion eventually (inevitably?) gets around to "MAN CORN" => viewtopic.php?t=5356

Sunday June 19, 2011
-Chef Mike starts the day with our traditional Prickly Pear Vodka & Orange Juice before cooking the bacon and eggs over-easy.
-7 HAZ'ers pile into Rob's Explorer and Mike's Jeep for backcountry ride to our first Chacoan Outlier, Kin Klizhin =>
-carry on through the backcountry to the "sand trap" area => that became a turnaround point for us last year.
-"sand trap", "smand trap"! No problem for Mike's 4WD Jeep and Rob's 4WD Explorer as we push through to Lake Valley Chapter House and up NM371 to CR7297 (turn off near mile marker 70 on NM371) and the Bisti Wilderness trail head
-I'm very surprised to see multiple vehicles at the TH. This is my 3rd trek into the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness and the first time I've ever seen another human!
-equipped with some Bisti tips from Letty and Laurent Martres' handbook "Photographing the Southwest", we start to walk up the South Hunter Wash noting the barbed wire fence on the north side
-when the barbed wire fence bends 90 degrees to the north, we angle ourselves in a northeast direction towards some fanciful coloured formations and into an area noted as "Stone Wings" on the Bisti Wilderness map
-we eventually make our way into the North Hunter Wash before finding a promising looking canyon with some shady walls to sit and have a lunch snack
-we continue our lasso loop back to the 90 degree bend in the barbed wire fence
-noting the crew is looking a little "spent", the "Cracked Eggs" area recommended by Letty will have to wait for a future adventure
-we head south along NM371 and the turnoff for Lake Valley Chapter House.
-a couple of miles south lies the turnoff for Kin Bineola =>
-by far my favorite Chacoan Greathouse Ruin and Chacoan Outlier!
-exploration of 3 southerly middens yields 6 inch pottery sherds and multiple handles
-a green collared lizard amuses us as it tries to protect it's midden territory
-after thorough exploration, on to Crown Point to pick up some ice and supplies
-back in cell phone coverage, some "Happy Father's Day" texts trickle in
-take advantage of the coverage to give my Dad a call
-a little south and east of Crown Point lies Kin Ya'a =>
-this is a lesser appreciated outlier, but still worthy of exploration for it's ample middens and Chacoan roads
-evening menu featuring BBQ steak, mushrooms, onions, sweet gherkin pickles, French bread, and our camp fire standby dessert, S'mores!
-wind kicks up even more followed by a rain storm forcing us to retreat to our tents (or vehicles for some) to call it a night.

Monday June 20, 2011
-Chef Mike starts the day again with our traditional Prickly Pear Vodka & Orange Juice before cooking up his famous chocolate chip pancakes.
-Trish and Tracy plan to trek the Penasco Blanco Trail to see the "Supernova" Pictograph =>
-for the remaining HAZ 5, our goal is the last remaining unexplored park trail, Pueblo Alto Loop =>
-through "the crack" and onto the mesa overlooks of Kin Kletso, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl
-next up is the Jackson Staircase and the Chacoan Road that heads toward Escavada Wash => ... -roads.htm
-Pueblo Alto and New Alto ruins explored
-back at the TH, the first Cag's are consumed (remember that taste is proportional to thirst and we were VERY thirsty)
-mandatory exploration of "downtown Chaco"
-Pueblo del Arroyo =>
-Pueblo Bonito =>
-Petroglyph Trail =>
-Chetro Ketl =>
-interesting reverse drive by Rob to collect Larry, Rebecca, and Mike at the Pueblo Bonito parking lot
-back to the Gallo Campground for some R&R before tackling Wijiji Trail at sunset
-explore the Gallo Campground vandalized petroglyph panels =>
-evening Ranger Program with Park Rangers Joe Fleming and G.B. Cornicopia
-the Gallo Campground is filled, but the Park Rangers indicate that they are not turning anybody away
-I notice about 5 tents populating the area around the Campground Host Site
-evening meal featuring Rob's burritos and appetizers by Trish and Tracy

Tuesday June 21, 2011
-Solstice Day in Chaco
-Trish wakes me up ~4am (yikes!)
-Waiting at the Gallo Campground Host Site for shuttle van pick-up 4:45am (yikes again!)
-Arrive at Casa Rinconada about 5:15am =>
-We wait for the Laguna Pueblo tribe members to finish morning prayers at the Casa Rinconada before the masses are permitted to trek up to the site
-I'm stunned by the "cluelessness" of many of the visitors as they feel compelled to walk in front of the solstice alignment window and interupt the image being photographed and videoed by others
-I'll estimate the solstice observers to be about 3x the previous years' number
-a little "glitch" waiting for the promised shuttles back to Gallo Campground
-once back at the camp, Chef Mike has jumbo breakfast sausages and waffles ready for consumption
-break camp, say our good-byes and we hit the road
-side trip to El Morro =>

Photos to be posted when I get a chance...
Kin Bineola
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I left Casamero, heading north. I was making for Kin Bineola by way of Borrego Pass and Crownpoint - routes rarely traveled by folks who don't live in the area. The feeling of isolation crossing the lonely desert rising towards the continental divide was almost a physical feeling. Another truck would pass in the opposite direction, and nothing for a long period of time. Outside of Borrego Pass I cam to road construction. No flaggers, no signs, just a sudden berm in the road and a grader at work. I could either get bogged down in the soft dirt or skirt the construction at high speed over the open desert as a truck in front of me did. The choice was obvious. I jounced and bounced along, and then roared back up onto the pavement as I crested the divide at Borrego Pass. I noted that there was a functioning gas station at the pass, which could save my bacon at some future point.
The decent back into the San Juan Basin was bright and dry. Twin pillars of coal dust rose on the northeastern horizon, a reminder of where I had been earlier. The ground dropped away and the now-paved road aimed me like an arrow at Crownpoint. While Crownpoint stands head and shoulders above Pueblo Bonito in terms of a place to live, it is far from the most inviting community. It has an air to it of despair, of just being on the edge. The tan desert radiates north, west, and east from it, while the plateau dominates the south. Crownpoint clings to a ridge, trying to stay above the hostile desert.
I grabbed gas, a soda (which exploded on me) and a hot dog at the Giant gas station in uptown Crownpoint for cheap, and hit the road again (after a detour to the Crownpoint Boarding School). 371 left town on a cardinal heading - north, along the great axis upon which the world turns. The wind was screaming in from the west, buffeting the Explorer. A whirlwind crossed the lonely flats to the west. An appropriate omen - Kin Bineola means "House of the Whirlwind". I kept my eyes peeled for the landmarks - a gray water tank and a sign for the Lake Valley chapterhouse. It came into view and I veered off the highway and down yet another bumpy, sandy, rocky backroad across the interior of northwestern New Mexico. A blue minivan met me about 2 miles in, heading back towards the highway. I waved and went on my way, finally reaching the earthen dam. I stopped to take a picture of the Kin Bineola sign and then maneuvered across the dam. At the parking area I took the opportunity to drink some more water and read up on Kin Bineola from my new Architecture of Chaco Canyon book before hitting the trail.
While I was reading, though, the Missouri minivan drove up and parked. I guess that they had been unable to find the site, but seeing me they decided I knew where I was going and turned around. What a silly idea - I'd never been there before, but they wouldn't know that. I didn't want to get stuck with people I didn't know exploring the pueblo alongside me, so I set out to hike. I crossed through the hiker's maze and signed the trail register with HAZ. The trail was a NPS service road, so it was easily passable and I soon made the ruins. I poked around for quite some time. There was some awesome remains left standing, including a 2nd story kiva, and a series of aligned doors. These features would be interesting to look at in regards to a social history and the open-ness of the Great House. There appeared to be only one plaza-enclosing wall - leaving the other plaza wide open to the southeast. There was also a road alignment heading towards the southeast, and I thought I could make out a ramp leading to the top of the mesa to the northeast as well, but I could be wrong about that. I climbed a low ridge to where Richard Wetherill had been, taking photos of the ruins, over 100 years earlier. After I finished my exploring on the mesa I hiked back down and along the back wall of the Great House. What an awesome structure!
I beat the minivan tourists back to the parking area (despite the fact that they arrived later and left the site earlier), and I was soon back out at the dam. I faced a choice - either way I had to get back to the highway. Should I go north through Lake Valley or south back the way I came. I thought hard about the northern route, but I was starting to run up against a time barrier, so I reluctantly turned south.
I made good time once back at the paved road. The scenery was amazing as I flew past hoodoos, canyons, salt lakes, and the Bisti badlands. I eventually rolled into Farmington in time to pick up another Lotaburger and head west again. As I crossed the San Juan in Shiprock, I noticed a drifting cloud of haze, high over the Chuskas. As I got closer to the Arizona line I realized that this was smoke from the Shultz Fire, drifting northeast over Sleeping Ute Mountain. Just before Teec Nos Pos I pulled off on a side road and snapped a couple pictures of the plume. By the time I had reached Baby Rocks and Church Rock, the smoke had become a dense haze. I felt like I needed to have my lights on. The smoke dissipated as I drove north on 98, towards Page, and by the time I was home the smoke was just a smudge on the southern horizon. 750 miles of driving in 2 1/2 days for not quite ten miles of hiking. I must be addicted to this whole exploring ancient ruins thing.
Kin Bineola
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Kin Bineola (my person hi-lite from Chaco/Bisti 2010)

Hike #5 - Kin Bineola Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1.35 miles, 1 hr 30min) - Navajo for "Whirlwind House", only one word to say => WOW! This was the hi-lite of the trip. This was a stunning site - a totally unexpected "find"... See ... index.html and ... 202005.pdf

We were the lone visitors to the site on this day. Reviewing the trail head registry, looks like we were the first visitors in 4 days.

Check out for the rest of the Chaco/Bisti 2010 story...
Kin Bineola
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Chaco Canyon and Bisti Wilderness Experience 2010

4 months in the making
4 days
3 nights
18 hiking trails
30 Caguama Cerveza
345 photos
1135.2 miles
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Gallo Campground as base camp

Having endured 4 months of "watchful waiting" (bad pun) with left eye surgery completed on 4/28 and right eye surgery completed on 5/19, I've had June 18th circled on the calendar since February. That was the date for medical clearance to get back into REAL HIKING again! For motivation I posted a 4 day weekend in Chaco Canyon incorporating the Summer Solstice plus a side trip into Bisti Wilderness on the HAZ Forum Board. There was plenty of interest, but few takers. Here's what they missed...

Day 1 - Friday June 18th - Our planned 7am departure from Chez Schulhauser's in Ahwatukee went without a hitch as Mike Mattes and my Ford F-150 trundled along AZ87 towards Payson. A coffee and gas stop in Heber and we were soon headed towards Holbrook and the I-40.

With the radio on seek to find some driving tunes; we had a wide selection of Country and Western, Country and Western, or Country and Western. We're introduced to "I'm Still a Guy" by Brad Paisley;

"When you see a deer, you see Bambi
And I see antlers on the wall...
...But I don't highlight my hair, I still have a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy
Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked, there's a gun in my truck
Oh thank God, I'm still a guy"

Needless to say this became our theme song for CHACO EXPERIENCE 2010! We pulled into Gallup NM at 11:30am to grab a couple of lunch time subs and continued along the I-40 towards the Continental Divide. At Thoreau, we turn onto NM371 towards Crownpoint. Having made great time, we consult our Chaco Culture Outlier Map (see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5111&p=55955#p56070 ) and notice Kin Ya'a marked just east of Crownpoint.

Hike #1 - Kin Ya'a Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1.05 miles, 1 hr) - Navajo for "Tall House", we turn at the Ikard-Newson Propane site and pass through the south gate. There's a maze-like network of crisscrossing double-tracks heading to the east. As we crest the ridge we make out the distinctive spire of the 4-story kiva... (see ... index.html ) We bounce along in my F-150 towards the site avoiding the intermittent "sand traps". It's before 2pm and we're at our first Chacoan Great House - great way to start the 4-day weekend!

After having our fill of Kin Ya'a, we head back to NM371 north towards IR-9. I'm pleasantly surprised that IR-9 is paved as we travel 13.4 miles east looking for the abandoned trading post and derelict oil wells marking the intersection of NM57. NM57 is 19.3 miles of bone-rattling washboard that mostly parallels an ancient Chacoan Road towards the southern entry into Chaco Canyon near Fajada Butte. At the Visitor Center we have our first encounter with "Ranger Unhelpful" (aptly dubbed by PageRob). He doubts that there are any camp sites available in the Gallo Campground with this being the Summer Solstice with Zuni dancers and all, but wants to collect our $8 entry fee and $30 camp fees anyways. I pull out my annual NPS pass to get our $8 entry fee waived, but "Ranger Unhelpful" charges us anyways. He's a little annoyed when Mike points this out and I ask for a refund...

As we slowly wind our way through Gallo Campground we get a little concerned as it begins to look like every camp site is occupied. Mike spots an open one, then another, and another. Of the 49 sites in Gallo, only 6 are open at about 3pm on a Friday afternoon. We settle on Site#28 and declare it "HAZ CAMP CHACO 2010". I'm able to text a message from this location to PageRob letting him know our camp site.

Mike and I quickly assemble our tents, pop open an adult beverage and grab a seat in our camp chairs while waving to our new neighbours. We discuss a world of possibilities and decide that we'll BBQ dinner once the sun sets and try to get in a hike (or two) before then. Too bad we have such a tight schedule - NOT! (use your best Borat imitation here...).

Hike #2 - Wijijii Chacoan Great House and Petroglyph Trail (4.45 miles, 2 hr 15 min) - From the western edge of Gallo Campgrounds you pick up the trail weaving towards Chaco Wash. You're walking on a non-descript flat service road towards the ruins. Nothing of note until you arrive at the site. Barriers and the ever present "Keep Out" signs keep you away from close examination of the great house ruin. A father and son pass us heading back from the petroglyph trail. We enquire about the glyphs and they indicate that they didn't see any. Mike and I head that way and start examining what look like prospective panels. Again barriers and the ever present "Keep Out" signs keep you a "head scratching" distance away from anything of interest. Mike walks by the entire site not spotting any hint of rock art. My new found sight begins to discern some pictographs and then some glyphs. The changing light begins to amplify multiple examples of rock art.

Back at CAMP CHACO I whip up the evening grub - BBQ buffalo burgers, corn-on-the-cob, sweet gherkins, and some choice English beers. With a crackling campfire providing background "music" and stars beginning to appear in the evening sky, plus some good "eats", good beer, good company - what's not to like?

Hike #3 - Gallo to Visitor Center Stroll (3.49 miles, 2 hrs 15min) - Having received multiple tips that an Evening Ranger Lecture would be held back at the Visitor Center Observatory and in need of an after dinner "leg stretcher", Mike and I head down the road to join the rest of the campers...

Day 1 total mileage = 8.99 miles

Day 2 - Saturday June 19th - Gallo Campgrounds is buzzing with pre-dawn activity rushing off to catch the Zuni Solstice Dancers. I'm confused; summer solstice is on Monday 21st. Oh well, don't let facts get in the way of a good show... Mike is on breakfast duty grilling sausages and eggs with our traditional morning "eye-opener" - prickly pear vodka and orange juice. We soon pack the F-150 with some hiking supplies for our trek to Bisti and a couple of outliers. Our stop at the Ranger Station is a complete 180 from our Friday experience. Rangers are tripping over each other trying to help us. One heads off to the office to make copies of a new, updated map of the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness while another talks about his plan to visit the same wilderness on Sunday. Yet another Ranger joins the conversation and answers my questions about the "lost" Fajada Butte Sun Dagger ... agger.html and why it remains off limits. We'll dub these the "3 Most-Helpful Rangers"...

Hike #4 - Kin Klizhin Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1.49 miles, 1 hr 15min) - Navajo for "Black House", we bounce along the double-track skirting the south side of the Chaco mesas (see ... etrail.htm and ... n-klizhin/ ). This is another tower kiva ruins very similar to Kin Ya'a. We continue west in my truck and see a nearby ruin that seems to incorporate some more recent times construction. A Navajo corral perhaps? The landscape becomes a series of sand dunes about 3 miles west of Kin Klizhin. The road begins to look impassable, especially as we can see evidence of makeshift "come-alongs" used by previous stuck vehicles. We decide to turnaround since my F-150 is only 2WD without offroad extrawide tires. Head south on NM57 to IR9 only to see a tragic rollover with EMS personnel scrambling to do what they can. NM371 takes us north towards Lake Valley Chapter House where we exit onto CR7059...

Hike #5 - Kin Bineola Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1.35 miles, 1 hr 30min) - Navajo for "Whirlwind House", only one word to say => WOW! This was the high-light of the trip... See ... index.html and ... 202005.pdf

Hike #6 - Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (5.83 miles, 3 hr 15min) - Navajo for "Cranes" in reference to the petroglyphs containing these bird images. See
We access the wilderness from the CR7500 trail head. The colours are reminiscent of Coal Mine Canyon or the Black Forest in PEFO, the mushroom rocks are reminiscent of the Paria, but the petrified wood was totally unexpected. The trek was hot, sweaty, and dusty, but the Caguama ( ) filling the cooler took care of that!

Hike #7 - Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (0.32 miles, 30min) - Access from the west off NM371. See

With my gas gauge now indicating half a tank and not having passed a gas station all day, we decide that continuing 40 miles north to Farmington was our safest bet.

Hike #8 - Angel Peak Wilderness (0.28 miles, 20min) - Off NM550 about 15 miles south of Bloomfield on CR7175. See ... _Peak.html

Back at CAMP CHACO waiting for PageRob to arrive, we meet some of our new camp neighbours. Rob arrives in the waning light. It's now time for BBQ New York Strips, corn-on-the-cob, sweet gherkins, and some choice English beers (or Caguama if you're slumming it). PageRob adds to choice beers with selections from Oak Creek and Grand Canyon Breweries. From our camp chairs we have a stellar light show. We pick out all the constellations we know and conclude that Orion's Belt must be below the horizon. After midnight, the moon sets below the horizon allowing the Milky Way to be exposed. With my new found sight, I've never seen anything like it...

Day 2 total mileage = 9.27 miles

Day 3 - Sunday June 20th - Once again Gallo Campgrounds is buzzing with pre-dawn activity, this time not to catch the Zuni Solstice Dancers (they packed up and left on Saturday), but to catch the sunrise Solstice light captured by the 7th niche in Casa Rinconada (see ). We're up before 5am and decide the morning light at Pueblo Bonito will have our attention on this day...

Hike #9 - Pueblo Bonito (1.73 miles, 1 hr 15 min) - What can you say, the Chaco Grand House of Grand Houses all to ourselves. See ... onito.html

Rob and I are back at CAMP CHACO where Mike has prepared his specialty for breakfast - chocolate chip pancakes, grilled ham, and our traditional eye-opener - prickly pear vodka and orange juice...

Hike #10 - South Mesa Loop (5.60 miles, 3 hr 30 min) - From the Casa Rinconada trail head, we climb up South Mesa making a clockwise loop towards Tsin Kletzin (Navajo for "Charcoal Place"). See ... anyon.html The trail has a "feel" to it like Grand Gulch/Cedar Mesa. At the Great House we have commanding 360 degree views. Our cell phones work and with it being Father's Day, make the call home to Dad. We make a side trek to view Weritos Rincon, remnants of a Chacoan dam...

We're back at the Casa Rinconada trail head at noon. A refreshing blast from the F-150's A/C and a minor debate about afternoon plans. Pueblo Alto Loop was on the list, but our stomachs are talking to us and there's Buffalo Burgers in the ice chest back at CAMP CHACO. Back at camp we BBQ those burgers and drain a couple of turtles (aka Caguamas).

Hike #11 - Pueblo Pintado Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1 mile, 1 hr 30 min) - A squalid and depressing Chapter House (quite the contrast from Lake Valley and others) with an interesting Great House Ruin. To me the high light is midden after midden containing multiple examples of large pottery sherds, Rob seemed to win his argument with the turtle (or was one of the Buffalo Burgers slightly sushi style?) and was able to give us a lesson in Chacoan pottery styles.

We have plenty of daylight remaining when we return to CAMP CHACO. The winds are a little too much as well, so we grab our camp chairs and set up in the wind shadow and shade near the Gallo Alcove Ruins ... ve%20Ruins

As the sun sets, the winds die and with dual pyros Mike and Rob getting the camp fire going, I prepare some steak fajitas with corn-on-the-cob. Rob whips up an appetizer bowl of chilli and fritos. Plenty of unique beers to share. Life is good...

Day 3 total mileage = 8.33 miles

Day 4 - Monday June 21st - Once again Gallo Campgrounds is buzzing with pre-dawn activity and we're on the road about 10th in line waiting for the park gate to open at 5:30am sharp. Like a giant train, a procession of vehicles wind their way to the Casa Rinconada trail head to catch the sunrise Solstice light captured by the 7th niche.

Hike #12 - Casa Rinconada (0.5 miles, 1 hr) - It's a New Age event at the giant kiva waiting for the sunrise. ... m=00000622
Certainly an "interesting" cross-section of life standing along the edges of the giant kiva waiting for sun to rise. Striking up some conversations I find out that just about everyone is a teacher or archeologist. There's even a large group of teachers that arrived in a "Follow The Sun" Tour Bus. Seems they are all part of an NSF funded "teacher enrichment" program headed by some archeologists. Talk to some of teachers in this program and their plans to interweave some Chaco Canyon elements into their high school programs. The Head Ranger from Chaco (neglected to write his name down, but he's been there for many years) gives a lecture to the crowd about the alignment. He certainly creates an element of doubt in the crowd when he mentions that although the niches are restored in their original positions, the light entrance window is pure speculation as it is 100% reconstruction from the 1920's (and nobody had the original architectural drawings!). Much to our relief we aren't sucked into any New Age Vortex and we are able to make our way back to the trail head and climb into the F-150 back to CAMP CHACO.

Mike looks after breakfast - oatmeal with maple syrup, home made muffins, grilled ham, and our ritual eye-opener. We break camp packing up our gear into our respective vehicles - today is getaway day. Over to the visitor center and book store for another encounter with Ranger Unhelpful. Seems that all 3 of us settle on the same book; "The Architecture of Chaco Canyon" by Stephen H. Lekson. We decide on a Tourist Speed Loop of Chaco Canyon so Rob can get some "Cag Shots".

Hike #13 - Una Vida (0.25 miles, 10 min)

Hike #14 - Hungo Pavi (0.25 miles, 10 min)

Hike #15 - Chetro Ketl (0.10 miles, 5 min)

Hike #16 - Pueblo Bonito (0.10 miles, 5 min)

Hike #17 - Kin Kletso (0.10 miles, 5 min)

Hike #18 - Pueblo del Arroyo (0.10 miles, 5 min)

We wave good bye to Rob as Mike and I head towards the South Road and NM57 towards Phoenix. I've got a 6am flight to catch on Tuesday to MSP... :wrt:

Day 4 total mileage = 1.40 miles

Four Day Total Mileage = 27.99 miles
Kin Bineola
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750 miles on the road in 2 1/2 days for less than 10 miles of hiking.
See the sequence here: - Pueblo Bonito - South Mesa Loop - Pueblo Pintado - Casa Rinconada - Una Vida
This triplog - going aroung for quick, cheap Cag shots at most of the major ruins. It was a hectic dash, but we finally all parted ways at the Pueblo del Arroyo parking lot. Until the next adventure, amigos. - Casamero Ruins - Kin Bineola

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 Crownpoint, it is exactly 24 miles to Kin Bineola. Most people visiting Kin Bineola start from the Visitor's Center in Chaco Canyon. These directions will take you from there to Kin Bineola.

Starting at the Visitor's Center, head south on Route 57 for about 20 miles until reaching Route 9. Turn right on Route 9, towards Crownpoint. Drive 13.4 miles on Route 9 until you come to NM371. This is where the route would converge with the route from Crownpoint, in which you would already have been driving north on NM371. Turn right and drive approximately 10 miles north to the junction with Navajo Route 7059. This is not signed for Kin Bineola or NR7059, but there is a gray water tank and a sign for the Lake Valley Chapter House. Follow this dirt road, passable to cars and minivans in good weather, for about 4.5 miles. You will see the green growth of Kim-me-ni-oli Wash ahead as the road drops towards it. Just before the road crosses Kim-me-ni-oli Wash, you will see a sign that says "Kin Bineola" on it. Turn right, and the road crosses an earthen dam. Once on the other side, you are within the NPS section of land. Follow the road to the parking area by the gate.
page created by PaleoRob on Jun 22 2010 11:10 pm
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