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Kin Kletso, NM

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Guide 6 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List NM > Northwest
3.5 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 Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 6,116 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 Hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.25
Interest Ruins & Historic
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
20  2018-05-20
Penasco Blanco Trail
27  2018-05-20
Penasco Blanco Trail
138  2012-06-28
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
5  2011-06-20 squatpuke
40  2011-06-18
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails
Author squatpuke
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 3
Photos 1,454
Trips 166 map ( 1,082 miles )
Age 52 Male Gender
Location Flagstaff, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, May
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:56am - 6:16pm
0 Alternative
Culture Nearby
Navajo for "Yellow House"
by squatpuke

Chaco Culture National Historical Park located in Northwestern New Mexico has the highest concentration of ancient pueblos in the Southwest and is an excellent place to study pre-Colombian, Anasazi history. (Make sure you have a few days to explore the outlier areas.)

Located in "Downtown Chaco" and about 1/2 mile northwest of the HUGE Pueblo Bonito, Kin Klesto is a medium sized-great house with roughly 55+ rooms and 4 kivas; 2 of which are larger and centrally located inside the ruin. The western-most kiva has been identified as a "Tower Kiva" (similarly found in Chetro Ketl) because of its single T-shaped door and lack of distinct upper-level flooring. Kin Kletso, and nearby New Alto, are built on the later McElmo style construction believed to originate from northern Anasazi immigrants, perhaps from the Mesa Verde region. Tree-ring data suggests the site to have a very short construction time-frame of about A.D. 1125-30.

Located behind Kin Kletso is the signed (and ancient) trail-head for the Pueblo Alto Loop trail which provides access to New Alto, Jackson's Staircase, Pueblo Bonito Overlook as well as Pueblo Alto itself.

Kin Kletso is a garbled mispronunciation of Kin Litsooi, meaning Yellow House in the Navajo language. (;

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2011-07-12 squatpuke
    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 Kletso
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    john mentioned a visit to chaco canyon a few weeks ago
    i'd never heard of it but sounded like there would be a lot to see
    got to the visitor center around 1015 or so, driving from petrified forest
    decided on doing the longest "backcountry" hike first, setting out around 1100
    the trail starts down an old road, passing by kin kletso ruin
    then a sandy singletrack leads to casa chiquita
    we checked both of those out and soon came to the petroglyph trail, which parallels the main trail
    lots of interesting stuff to see along here and fun to spot the glyphs
    another mile of flat led to chaco wash, which we crossed and headed up to the famed supernova pictograph
    an interesting ascent to the top of a mesa where penasco pueblo is located
    explored this great house and took plenty of photos, which convey the scale of these ruins better than words
    retraced our steps, but taking a more direct route across the wash
    nice hike to a cool destination with plenty to see along the way

    Kin Kletso
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    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...

    Permit $$

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

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Chaco Culture National Historical Park can be accessed via two entrances; North (Farmington/Bloomfield) and South (Gallup).

    From Gallup, proceed east on I-40 to the Thoreau exit, NM371. Proceed north 29 miles past the small community of Crownpoint. Just a few miles beyond is a signed, right (east) turn onto NM57. Continue for 14 beautifully paved miles where until you see the final Park sign which prompts a left (north) turn onto a dirt road (junction of Ruby Ranch). You will travel north 22 miles on a very dusty and bumpy dirt road until you reach the entrance of the Park. Low clearance proceed slowly and with caution and highly beware when muddy conditions exist.

    From Bloomfield, take US550 southeast for 39 miles to Nageezi. Follow "Chaco Culture National Historical Park" signs on several unmarked Indian Service Routes (ending up on 7950) for 21 miles. This dirt road is also covered in washboards and would be inaccessible to low clearance vehicles when muddy. The road becomes paved and you will past the Gallo campground just past the park entrance. Proceed a few more miles to Visitor Center to pay any necessary fees.
    page created by squatpuke on Jul 12 2011 8:14 pm
    3 pack - loud whistle
    safety first
    help comment issue

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