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Pueblo Bonito - 6 members in 17 triplogs have rated this an average 4.7 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Sep 01 2018
jochal
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 22
 Photos 1,878
 Triplogs 491

35 male
 Joined Sep 13 2009
 Mesa, AZ
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Sep 01 2018
jochal
Hiking12.40 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking12.40 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Day and a half in Chaco; showed up Saturday mid day and left Monday morning, staying in the campground.

Right after we got into the visitor center, we were greeted by a good thunderstorm. Very hard rain for half an hour and a solid 10 or so minutes of hail. It was very cool driving through the canyon with mud waterfalls coming down. Over the next couple of days, the wash had a pretty good flow going.

We spent most of the afternoon Saturday hitting the loop ruins, then Sunday morning we did the Pueblo Alto backcountry trail, finished up the loop ruins, then I rushed through Wijiji solo.

Would have liked to get the South Mesa trail, but will have to come back for it and Pensaco blanco. Also did not do overlook trail

Loved the canyon, had been wanting to come for a good long while.
_____________________
May 21 2018
trekkin_gecko
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 347
 Photos 4,135
 Triplogs 2,628

61 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 21 2018
trekkin_gecko
Hiking8.70 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles
840 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
johnlp
john and i had a reservation at gallo campground
before setting up camp sunday night, we did the short hike to una vida ruin and checked out the petroglyphs above
the next morning we packed up (after coffee :) ) and hiked along the canyon walls in the campground looking for and finding plenty of petroglyphs
went right onto the wijiji trail from camp, following an old road east to the ruins
hiked further east to see petroglyphs and pictographs
returned to the campground and drove over to the wetherell cemetery, then followed the petroglyph trail over to pueblo bonita and chetro ketl
both great houses were amazing and well worth spending a little time there
hit the road after that
quick trip, but i think we packed in as much as we could
there are a few more things to see and a couple of hikes to do in both chaco canyon and petrified forest
thanks for thinking of this, john
it was a great trip

_____________________
2 archives
May 21 2018
johnlp
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 9
 Photos 4,202
 Triplogs 3,275

62 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 21 2018
johnlp
Hiking8.70 Miles 840 AEG
Hiking8.70 Miles
840 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
trekkin_gecko
Whirlwind of cool stuff to finish our Chaco experience. :)
_____________________
“Good people drink good beer.” Hunter S Thompson
May 24 2014
Dennyforreal
avatar

 Routes 34
 Photos 149
 Triplogs 131

34 male
 Joined May 04 2012
 Denver, CO
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 24 2014
Dennyforreal
Hiking0.75 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles
20 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
Jun 28 2012
Stoic
avatar

 Routes 212
 Photos 4,831
 Triplogs 408

43 male
 Joined Dec 30 2007
 Avondale,Az
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2012
Stoic
Hiking11.00 Miles 750 AEG
Hiking11.00 Miles   8 Hrs      1.38 mph
750 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 3

Pueblo Pintado
Chaco National Park
Fajada Butte
Hungo Pavi
Chetro Ketl
Petroglyph Trail
Pueblo Bonito
Pueblo Alto Loop
Kin Kletso
Pueblo Del Arroyo/ Wetherell grave site
Casa Rinconada
South Mesa Loop Tsin Kletzin site
Chacoan Stairway
Una Vida


Last minute decision to come to Chaco. It was very hot, but worth the hike. SPF 100, worked well. I did burn my lips badly. They where swollen the next morning, and now blistered.. Lesson learned....
Sorry, i tried to narrow the pictures down. There is a lot. I started with over 400.
Named place
Named place
Fajada Butte
_____________________
10 archives
Jun 20 2011
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2011
PaleoRob
Hiking2.00 Miles 40 AEG
Hiking2.00 Miles   1 Hour      2.00 mph
40 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Hiked to Bonito from the Alto trailhead via the Cemetery Trail. Checked out some rock art, including along the Petroglyph Trail. I turned back with Randy at Chetro Ketl to go grab the truck and pick up Larry and his daughter Becca.
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
1 archive
Jun 20 2011
squatpuke
avatar

 Guides 5
 Routes 3
 Photos 1,454
 Triplogs 166

52 male
 Joined Apr 04 2002
 Flagstaff, AZ
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2011
squatpuke
Hiking0.75 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles      30 Mns   1.50 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Mike Mattes
PaleoRob
Randal_Schulhauser
Amazing...the only word to describe Pueblo Bonito. Has to be seen to be truly appreciated. nuff said.

(took trail along cliff bottom from Kin Kletso/Graveyard)
Culture
Culture
Inscriptions
_____________________
squatpuke@gmail.com
3 archives
Jun 19 2011
Trishness
avatar

 Guides 14
 Photos 720
 Triplogs 187

61 female
 Joined May 21 2003
 Apache Junction,
Kin BineolaNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 19 2011
Trishness
Hiking10.00 Miles 30 AEG
Hiking10.00 Miles
30 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Spectacular outliers!!!! Great group!! Loved all the ruins.
_____________________
Trish-Kabob

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds" Ed Abbey
1 archive
Jun 18 2011
Randal_Schulha
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2011
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking10.00 Miles
Hiking10.00 Miles
 no routes
Chaco/Bisti Wilderness Experience 2011

Chaco Culture National Historical Park Trails => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=12079
Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1962

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 => http://www.explorenm.com/hikes/ChacoOverlook/
-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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15545
-carry on through the backcountry to the "sand trap" area => http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=143366 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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15425
-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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=15536
-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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1672
-for the remaining HAZ 5, our goal is the last remaining unexplored park trail, Pueblo Alto Loop => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1284
-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 => http://www.nps.gov/chcu/historyculture/ ... -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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1287
-Pueblo Bonito => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1281
-Petroglyph Trail => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1282
-Chetro Ketl => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1676
-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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1668
-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 => http://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=1295

Photos to be posted when I get a chance...
_____________________
Jun 20 2010
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 20 2010
PaleoRob
Hiking1.00 Miles 40 AEG
Hiking1.00 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.67 mph
40 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Randal_Schulhauser
I had arrived in Chaco a little later than planned - a last chance to use my cell phone plus the ever delicious Blake's Lotaburger could not be refused. The sun had just dropped below the horizon by the time I left the pavement, and when I arrived to Randal and Mike at site 28 the sky was more black than blue. I was just in time for steaks and some beer - perhaps the most watered down and cheap beer I have ever had. At 35 cents per can, Cerveza Caguama (colloquially known as "Cag") certainly is in the running for the cheapest bulk beer you can buy, though the distinction between beer and water in the case of Cag is indistinct.
Randy and I awoke early to catch the morning sun working its magic in Pueblo Bonito while the crowds gathered around Casa Rinconada to the south. While the sunlight wasn't cooperating with Randy, I was enjoying having the ruin to ourselves. Despite the cool morning the interior of Bonito was warm. We noticed that the walls were radiating heat back into the air, making the dark corridors and rooms pleasant to explore. I was looking for corner windows pointing towards the northeast, in hopes of catching a solar alignment for the solstice. We found a few that would be observable, but before the sun came up Randy had to attend to some other business. I had all of Pueblo Bonito to myself! The quiet was overwhelming while I sat patiently in one of the rooms with a corner doorway, waiting for that first inkling of sun. I noticed that the room to my south was getting light on its upper courses of stone, so I ducked through the door. A ruined doorway on the second story led to the west, and bracketing it were two beams of light; one from a doorway and another from a small, square hole located near the northern corner of the room. Awesome! The sun was on the rise, the earth moving around. The shadows crept lower as I watched, presaging what we would be witnessing at Casa Rinconada the next day. I didn't want to miss my corner window alignment (if there was to be one), so I made my way back into the other room.
Sun was coming through a doorway and another small square hole, but the earth hadn't turned enough to let the sun peek through the corner. I watched the light beams play on the west wall, moving and growing until suddenly a new spot appeared and I gasped. The northwest corner of the room had a corner doorway as well, and as I watched the sunlight began to "ooze" out of the NW doorway; a long tongue starting at the sill and extending down to where the prehistoric floor had been. Now I don't know if the effect was intentional, but it was quite striking none the less.
Having seen what I came to see, I made my way back through the rabbit warren of rooms to the plaza, where I saw the sun hitting the cliffs. I followed the trail to the top of the overlook on the remains of Threatening Rock. While I was taking a couple of overview photos, I heard a voice calling out to me. Randy was waiting at the base of the ruin - it was time to go back to camp and grab some breakfast.
Next - South Mesa: http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52455
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
1 archive
Jun 18 2010
PaleoRob
avatar

 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 18 2010
PaleoRob
Hiking0.25 Miles
Hiking0.25 Miles      15 Mns   1.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
750 miles on the road in 2 1/2 days for less than 10 miles of hiking.
See the sequence here:

http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52408 - Pueblo Bonito
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52455 - South Mesa Loop
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52458 - Pueblo Pintado
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52477 - Casa Rinconada
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52487 - 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.
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52493 - Casamero Ruins
http://hikearizona.com/TL.php?ID=52495 - Kin Bineola
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Jun 18 2010
Randal_Schulha
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Chaco Culture National Historical Park TrailsNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Backpack avatar Jun 18 2010
Randal_Schulhauser
Backpack27.99 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack27.99 Miles4 Days         
2,000 ft AEG
 no routes
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
Priceless!


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 http://www.100megspopup.com/photo4phood ... 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 http://www.angelfire.com/indie/anna_jon ... 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 http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/k ... etrail.htm and http://gamblershouse.wordpress.com/2009 ... 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 http://www.100megspopup.com/photo4phood ... index.html and http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/u ... 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 http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/wilderness/bisti.html
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 (http://www.caguamabeer.com/ ) 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 http://www.takemytrip.com/064corners/06_09a.htm

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 http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recrea ... _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 http://www.exploratorium.edu/chaco/HTML/rinconada.html ). 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 http://www.dennisrhollowayarchitect.com ... 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 http://4cornershikesnavajo.blogspot.com ... 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 http://4cornershikesnavajo.blogspot.com ... 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. http://www.exploratorium.edu/media/inde ... 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
Flora
Flora
Prince's Plume
Geology
Geology
HooDoo Petrified Wood
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Jun 21 2008
PaleoRob
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 Guides 137
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 Photos 5,253
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38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 21 2008
PaleoRob
Hiking1.25 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking1.25 Miles   1 Hour   30 Mns   0.83 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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Did this hike twice; once in the early afternoon, watching Acoma and Laguna dancers in the east plaza, and again later in the day, for the full tour with Ely. Pretty awesome watching the dancers, and the afternoon lighting and cloud shadows made for a great hike.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Jul 25 2007
Crzy4AZ
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 Guides 31
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 Photos 2,588
 Triplogs 595

46 female
 Joined Apr 02 2007
 Scottsdale, AZ
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2007
Crzy4AZ
Hiking0.75 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles
20 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
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GI Jones
There were two native american park service guys doing some restoration on one of the big kivas near the courtyard.

Lots of propping of second stories from the outside - lots of stabilization here and there.

Amazing to see up close.
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Jul 06 2007
Randal_Schulha
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59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2007
Randal_Schulhauser
Hiking12.35 Miles
Hiking12.35 Miles   10 Hrs      1.24 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Chaco Canyon - New Mexico

This was a pilgrimage of sorts to the acknowledged center of Southwestern Puebloan society. I can't really explain my general fascination with ruins, but the enigmatic mystery certainly is a major component. There's probably no better place to further fuel this fascination than Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Lynn, Tobyn, and I decided to spend an extended July 4th weekend in New Mexico leaving Sarah at home to look after the dogs (besides, she also had to work). The plan was to make base camp at the Holiday Inn in Farmington NM and get an early morning start (ie. 5:00 am) each day. This ensured our accommodations since camping at the Gallo Campground within Chaco Canyon is severely limited.

Waking up before sunrise (New Mexico is on daylight savings time) we headed 11 miles east along Hwy 64 to Bloomfield NM and the junction with Hwy 550. Interesting that we passed the Salmon Ruins site (see http://www.salmonruins.com/ ) and Aztec Ruins site (see http://www.nps.gov/azru/ ) on route to Chaco Canyon. Take Hwy 550 south from Bloomfield 39 miles to CR7900. Continue south along this paved county road for about 5 miles until you reach the signed junction with CR7950. Heading in a westerly direction, turn onto CR7950. This county road is paved for the first couple of miles, but soon turns into a bone-jarring, rutted, dirt path that may be impassible in wet weather. Traveling about 15 miles along CR7950, you cross the boundary into the Chaco Culture National Historic Park. We covered the 70 miles to Chaco from our Farmington NM hotel in about 1 1/2 hours.

The roads within the Historic Park are paved! Fajada Butte (famous for its' Sun Dagger Site) appears on the horizon within the canyon. We made our way to the visitor center. Although the park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, the visitor center hours are only 8 am to 5 pm. With the time now only 7:00 am, we decided to check some of the close-by ruins, Una Vida and Hungo Pavi.

Having our annual NPS pass, we decided to display this on the dashboard and move on to the truly massive and mysterious Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl ruins. The 0.25 mile long Petroglyph Trail connects the two Chacoan "great houses". The site is beyond words, so I won't even make an attempt to describe it here.

Having completed a couple of hours at the two "great houses", we headed to the next "MUST DO" trail, the Pueblo Alto backcountry trail that includes overlooks of Kin Kletso, Pueblo Bonito, and Chetro Ketl. A 200 ft scramble up a "crack-in-rock" trail is required to get to the lookout vistas. Tobyn and Lynn hung back as I made the way along the ledge top trail.

We moved on to the Penasco Blanco backcountry trail. We decided to stop at the initial petroglyph panels just beyond Casa Chiquita. The Casa Chiquita site is unexcavated, allowing one to ponder how the ruins looked 100 years ago before any restoration work was initiated.

Having completed the 2 backcountry trails, it was time to have a snack and beverage back at the air-conditioned truck. While Lynn and Tobyn relaxed, I sprinted around the Pueblo del Arroyo site.

We then moved on to the Casa Rinconada Community that includes the largest known kiva in Chaco Canyon. It was a strange coincidence that we ran into Mike & Sandy Mattes at this site. I knew Mike was off to visit Zion, Bryce and Mesa Verde this week. It turned out that Chaco was a spur of the moment decision since it was (sort of) on the way back to Phoenix from Mesa Verde. After completing the loop trail, we decided to head back to the Visitor Center.

The Visitor Center is rated highly by me containing a wonderful selection of artifacts uncovered during many of the archaeological digs. The collection of "evidence bags" made a compelling statement about the stupidity of many of the "Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979" violators.


Trail Summary:

1. Una Vida & Petroglyph Loop Trail is 1.0 miles long. My rating = 2, FAIR
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/una-vida.htm
2. Hungo Pavi Loop Trail is 0.25 miles long. My rating = 4, ABOVE AVERAGE
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/hungo-pavi.htm
3. Chetro Ketl Loop Trail is 0.5 miles long. My rating = 5, OUTSTANDING
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/chetro-ketl.htm
4. Chetro Ketl to Pueblo Bonito Petroglyph Trail is 0.25 miles long. My rating = 3, SOLID CONTENDER
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/p ... -trail.htm
5. Pueblo Bonito Loop Trail is 0.5 miles long. My rating = 5, OUTSTANDING
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/pueblo-bonito.htm
6. Pueblo del Arroyo Loop Trail is 0.25 miles long. My rating = 3, SOLID CONTENDER
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/p ... arroyo.htm
7. Casa Rinconada Community Loop Trail is 0.5 miles long. My rating = 3, SOLID CONTENDER
Reference http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/c ... conada.htm
8. Chacoan Staircase Lookout is 0.1 miles long. My rating = 2, FAIR


Backcountry Trail Summary:
NOTE: Hiking permits are required for these trails. They are free and available at the Trail Head and Visitor Center. Trails are open sunrise to sunset.
1a. Pueblo Alto Loop Trail is 5.1 miles long. My rating = 5, OUTSTANDING
1b. Pueblo Bonito Overlook is 2.0 miles long roundtrip. My rating = 5, OUTSTANDING
1c. Kin Kletso Trail is 0.5 miles long roundtrip. My rating = 4, ABOVE AVERAGE
2a. Penasco Blanco Trail is 7.2 miles long roundtrip. My rating = TBD
2b. Casa Chiquita & Petroglyph Trail is 4.0 miles long roundtrip. My rating = 4, ABOVE AVERAGE
3a. South Mesa Loop Trail is 3.6 miles long. My rating = TBD
3b. Tsin Kletzin is 2.6 miles long roundtrip. My rating = TBD
4. Wijiji Trail is 3.0 miles long roundtrip. My rating = 3, SOLID CONTENDER



See links for more info:

http://www.nps.gov/chcu/ for background cultural history

http://www.nps.gov/chcu/photosmultimedi ... 4#e_144965 for historical photographs (4-pages)


Talking with one of the Rangers, late September and October are considered the "best times" to visit. The area has finished with Monsoon rains and heat and its fall season before the winter snows. Maybe consider a return visit to eliminate any "TBD's" from the trail ratings. I also hear the backcountry trails and the pottery sherd dump at Angel Peak Badlands at the end of the 30 mile Chacoan Road north from Pueblo Alto calling me. I'll also have to include the Salmon Ruins and Aztec Ruins sites...
Fauna
Fauna
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Jul 12 2003
PaleoRob
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 Guides 137
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38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 12 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking0.75 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles   1 Hour      0.75 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
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_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
Jul 11 2003
PaleoRob
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 Guides 137
 Routes 111
 Photos 5,253
 Triplogs 942

38 male
 Joined Apr 03 2006
 Grand Junction,
Pueblo BonitoNorthwest, NM
Northwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 11 2003
PaleoRob
Hiking0.75 Miles 20 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles   1 Hour      0.75 mph
20 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
average hiking speed 1.12 mph

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.

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