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Pueblo Pintado, NM

42 6 3
Guide 6 Triplogs  3 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Northwest
2.5 of 5 by 2
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 0.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,515 feet
Elevation Gain 10 feet
Accumulated Gain 20 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 0.35
Interest Ruins
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
18  2012-06-28 Stoic
40  2011-06-18
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
11  2010-06-21 Randal_Schulhaus
13  2010-06-20 PaleoRob
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, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:58am - 6:08pm
0 Alternative
Culture Nearby
A pit - but better than
by PaleoRob

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Pueblo Pintado, meaning Painted Town, was the first of the Chacoan Ruins spotted by Anglos. Because it lays outside Chaco Canyon proper, it is also the first Chacoan outlier ever discovered. It gives the nearby Navajo settlement its name. The Mexican Indian guide for Simpson's expedition into the Chaco region had proposed several names that he claimed the locals used, including Pueblo de Los Ratones, which means Town of the Rats. Perhaps apt.

Warning: Pueblo Pintado ruins are very isolated, despite having a settlement nearby. There is no gas or food available in Pueblo Pintado or Whitehorse. The nearest reliable gas is at Nageezi. In addition, some of the local youth at Pueblo Pintado don't like the Park or tourists. There is extensive vandalism both at the ruins and in Pueblo Pintado. Don't travel alone, lock your car, and don't let it get out of your sight.

History: Pueblo Pintado was first sighted by Lt. James Simpson's 1849 military expedition against the Navajo. Traveling west from Santa Fe, his party sighted the impressive ruins on a hill overlooking the wash. The expedition spent several hours examining the ruins before moving down the canyon, eventually discovering most of the major ruins within Chaco Canyon, some 18 miles down the wash.

Pueblo Pintado itself was begun in the late 1060's, based on limited tree ring data. By the end of the 1000's, Pueblo Pintado had at least 135 rooms, with up to three stories along the back wall. The north and west walls form a L shape, while the two far points of the L are connected by a curved wall, enclosing a plaza. There is at least one Great Kiva, located southeast of the plaza wall. There is also an addition built onto the southern tip of the core of Pueblo Pintado. Two prehistoric roads ran through the area. The Chaco-Pintado (or East Road) started in Chaco Canyon north of Pueblo Alto and ran east into the west wall of Pueblo Pintado. It can still be seen faintly on the ground, but is one of the best documented roads within the San Juan Basin. It can be traced via aerial photography all the way back to Chaco Canyon. It is especially noticeable when it cuts through ridges. A second road ran to the northeast. This road is almost impossible to detect either on the ground or from aerial photography.

Hike: The hike starts from the parking area. You cross through a hiker's maze, where you'll find a visitor log filled with profanity and angry rants from locals, as well as a vandalized sign describing the pueblo and what it may have looked like during the occupation. Heading south along the west wall you will pass a sign that points out the Chacoan road. You can then go into the plaza and explore the room blocks, before heading to the Great Kiva and then back around the northern wall and back to your vehicle. Or go the opposite way - there is no bad way to see the ruin. It is massive even today.

Water Sources: None. Bring your own.

Camping: Only at Gallo Campground, back in the main portion of Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

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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
Pueblo Pintado
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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...
Pueblo Pintado
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Pueblo Pintado

Hike #11 - Pueblo Pintado Chaco Culture Outlier Ruin (1 mile, 1 hr 30 min) - Inspiration to visit this site came from a vintage aerial photograph taken by Anne Lindbergh in a plane flown by her husband Charles. Today Pueblo Pintado is a squalid and depressing Chapter House (quite the contrast from pristine Lake Valley Chapter and others) with an interesting Great House Ruin. Some disturbing thoughts from the locals written in the trail head registry. To me the featured 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. The Chacoan Verdi on Amarillo sherds (Meso-American influence?) were most interesting =>

The completed our "4-play" exploration of Chacoan Outliers. Check out;
1. Kin Ya'a =>
2. Kin Klizhin =>
3. Kin Bineola =>
4. Pueblo Pintado =>

See for the rest of the story...
Pueblo Pintado
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Cag, Coca-Cola, and two buffalo burgers in the blazing Chaco midday heat for lunch do not make for a happy stomach if you're going to be going over bone-rattling, suspension-crunching backroads filled with monster washboards and ceramic chugholes the size of Volkswagons. But, like a fool, that is what I had for my lunch. I knew it was too much when I took the first bite of the second burger, but I didn't stop until I was halfway done with it. I didn't want to be rude, but I should have considered the consequences of my actions.
Loaded up into Randy's Ford, the three of us side by side across the front bench seat. Our destination? Pueblo Pintado - the only outlier that Mike and Randy hadn't visited the previous day, and seemingly a good alternate to the 4 mile unshaded loop hike to Pueblo Alto. But was it really? It was 33 miles down the dirt roads to Pintado, and by mile 15 the going had gone from bad to worse. We went over a stretch of pavement that made the transition back to horrible road that much worse. In addition to the bad beer, good food, and poor road, the sun was blazing down into the truck cab while the air conditioner worked full blast. The result was an odd clammy feeling while my face was baking. I'm not one who gets carsick, but I was worried if I'd make it to Pintado. At about mile 23 I needed to stop for a few minutes - no barfing, for those that are wondering, but I did need to release the turtle.
Back in the truck, feeling slightly better, we rattled our way past one ratty settlement after another, each one more decrepit, run down, and vandalized than the last. I got the feeling we were leaving the last vestiges of civilization and delving into a land of true wilderness, where people who tried to maintain harmony and order were slowly being pushed back as the badlands and their legions encroached, moving forward. We finally reached the Pueblo Bonito Chapter, and true to form it was the worst of the lot. "What a pit!" exclaimed Randy as we drove through it. I can't blame the youth who are forced to "grow up" in Pintado - driving 100 miles one way to get your groceries doesn't sounds like fun. I'd probably eat a gun, but they've taken to spray-painting anything they can get their hands on. Of course that raised the question of where they would buy the paint (and who would sell them such copious quantities), but I can't answer those questions. I can tell you what the Census tells us about Pueblo Pintado - 50% of the 200 people living in the settlement are under the poverty line, with the median income of all residents being about $14,000. This raises another question - where do these people work?
Anyway, the settlement of Pintado didn't improve my mood as we drove through it and back onto a paved road. We passed the turnoff to the ruins, but quickly doubled back. The Great House of Pueblo Pintado is distinctive, standing isolated on a bluff over the broad wash just to the north. We made our way to the parking lot, made sure the windows were rolled up and doors locked, and then walked through the hikers maze. The trail register was vandalized, as was one of the signs at the site. Some entries suggested that the NPS go suck a pumpkin, while others labeled all tourists as pumpkin sons of dogs. Lots of love in Pintado for everyone. While Mike and Randy began exploring the ruin, I found a shady room, laid down, pulled my hat over my face, and took a nap.
About 20 minutes later Mike showed up and woke me. Randy was not too far behind, telling tales of pottery. I felt remarkably refreshed after my siesta, so I followed them through the ruin. There was lots of pottery scattered to the south and east of the ruin, and we spent considerable time looking over it. Walking back to the truck we saw an isolated sign stuck in a grove of sage. It was pointing out the alignment of a Chacoan road. We all stood on the road and looked down the alignment. We could follow it for about 100 feet before it became indistinct. Imagine my surprise when I got back to Page and found I could trace it all the way to Chaco on overhead imagery!
I was feeling well enough that we decided to take a Cag shot before getting away from the awesome ruin and creepy settlement. The entire time I was walking around the ruin (not napping) I felt like someone was watching me.
We hit the paved road again, but unanimously decided to return to Chaco via Route 9, instead of the horrendous Route 7900. When we arrived back at the campsite, we determined that the roads had shaken one bolt completely out of Randy's tailgate, and several others were loose. The sun was still in the sky but sinking fast. We putzed around the camp for a little bit, making a new friend when we offered him a Cag to his wife's dismay, and tried to understand a firewood scavenger I named the Flemish Master. After we couldn't stand the sun any longer, we pulled some chairs up in the shade of a boulder, cracked some Guinness and some Cag and began making plans for the next day - The Solstice.
Next - Casa Rinconada:
Pueblo Pintado
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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
Pueblo Pintado
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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
It is NOT recommended to access this site from the north, via Nageezi and Navajo Route 7900. This road is exceptionally rough. While it is passable, the number of chugholes and the size and frequency of washboards makes this route unpleasant. A better way to get to Pueblo Pintado is to drive south from the Visitor's Center in Chaco Canyon on NM57 to Route 9. Turn left on Route 9, and follow this paved road to the settlement of Pueblo Pintado. Immediately before the two large water towers there is a dirt road to the left. You can see the ruins on a knoll overlooking the wash at this point. Turn onto the dirt road by the water towers, and follow that road to the parking area for Pueblo Pintado.
page created by PaleoRob on Jun 23 2010 12:03 am
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