DAY 11 PLAN: Chaco Canyon (option 2)


THE PLAN FOR TODAY

AlbuquerquetoChaco

DRIVE: Albuquerque, NM to Chaco Culture National Park, NM

  • break camp
  • DEP Albuquerque area
  • DRIVE Albuquerque / Chaco Culture National Park
    (approx. 160 miles / 4.5 hours)
  • RESUPPLY en route
  • ARR Chaco Culture National Historical Park
  • establish campsite
  • HIKE/VISIT Chaco Culture National Historic Park sites/trails
  • Set up camp

NITE: National Park Campsite / Chaco Culture National Historic Park, NM

ESTIMATED TIMETABLE:

21 DEP: 0800 – Albuquerque NM
(DRIVE: 160 miles / 3.5 hours = 4.5 hours estimated segment time)

ARR: 1230 – Chaco Culture National Historical Park NM
(160 miles / 3.5 hours drive / 4.5 hours estimated travel)

WEATHER: AMARILLO | TUCUMCARI | SANTA ROSA | ALBUQUERQUE

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SEGMENT DETAILS

ACTIVITIES at Chaco:

Chaco Culture National Historic Park Sites – From the visitor center, a 9-mile paved loop road accesses five major Chacoan sites, including Pueblo Bonito. Self-guiding trails are available at each site. Each site usually takes 45 minutes to one hour to complete. (Visitor Center: (505) 786-7014 / website)

  • From the visitor center, a 9-mile paved loop road accesses five major Chacoan sites, including Pueblo Bonito. Self-guiding trails are available at each site (Each site usually takes 45 minutes to one hour to complete.)
  • Guided tours of Pueblo Bonito are offered daily at 10AM and 2PM

LODGING: Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Gallo Campground
(see park website)
P. O. Box 220, Nageezi, New Mexico 87037
Visitor Center: (505) 786-7014 / Fax: (505) 786-7061

Gallo Campground: located one mile east of the Visitor Center. Tucked amongst the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Camping is limited to 7 days. Trailers and RVs over 35 feet in length can not be accommodated.

There is a limit of six people, two tents, and two vehicles at each campsite. Each site has a picnic table and fire grate (with a grill). Bring your own firewood or charcoal. Gathering wood is prohibited and no firewood is available in the park.

Most sites include a tent pad. The campground has water (non-potable) and restrooms with flush toilets. Site #16 and both restrooms are handicap accessible. There are no showers or hook-ups. Drinking water is available 24 hours a day in the Visitor Center parking area, where telephones are located as well. There is no gasoline, auto repair, food, or ice available in the park. To make the most of your visit, please plan ahead and come prepared.

  • Directions: From I-25, take exit 242, to get onto US-550 heading North and West.. turn off US 550 at CR 7900– approximately 50 miles west of Cuba (at mile 112.5). This route is clearly signed from US 550 to the park boundary (21 miles). The route includes 8 miles of paved road (CR 7900) and 13 miles of rough dirt road (CR7950).
  • FEE: $8/vehicle plus $10/night camping fee

ALTERNATIVE CAMPING OPTIONS Camping at Chaco Culture National Historical Park will be severely limited until further notice, because the Gallo Campground septic system needs to be replaced, and the park is working on emergency repairs. Until the repairs are completed, the park has suspended all group camping and reduced the number of regular camp sites from 49 to 35. For information on alternative camping options: Contact: Visitor Center, (505) 786-7014 ext. 221 or Ramona Begay, (505) 786-7014 ext. 233

The nearest camping options in the park’s immediate area are listed here:

  • RUBY RANCH: A working cattle ranch 16 miles south of the park on Hwy 57 (rough dirt road) invites individuals and groups to camp at their ranch. There is unlimited camping ($5.00 per person/per night) at the ranch. Camping is primitive and campers will need to be self contained (i.e., bring their own food and water, pack out all trash and properly dispose of human waste). Call Mickey or Amy Williams at (505) 979-0614 for further details.
  • BLANCO TRADING POST: A working trading post located at 12341 S. Hwy 550, 29 miles north of Chaco off US 550. Fourth generation traders Justin and Savannah Higgins invite individuals and groups to camp adjacent to their trading post ($5.00 per person/per night). Restrooms and food service are available at the post during operating hours 6:30am to 9:00pm (summer). Water is available. Call (505) 632-1219.
  • LYBROOK MERCANTILE: A working trading post located at Mile Marker 104 on US Hwy 550, 34 miles from Chaco (on the way to Cuba and Albuquerque). Trader John Lee invites individuals and groups to camp adjacent to the trading post. Tent camping is $10.00 per night. There are 6 RV sites with hook-ups. Restrooms, etc, are available 8:00am to 9:00pm. Water is available. Call (505) 568-4477 for more info.
  • In addition to these sites, there are commercial campgrounds available in Cuba, Bloomfield, and Farmington. National Park Service campgrounds are also located at other regional sites such as Mesa Verde National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, El Malpais and El Moro National Monuments, and Bandelier National Park. Additionally, there are numerous public campgrounds in the region managed by the US Forest Service, Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation, and New Mexico State Parks.
    URL: http://www.nps.gov/chcu/parknews/campground-limited-2008.htm

NOTES:

17 JAN 2010: I think it would be great to visit/camp at the Chaco national site!!!! It would be really cool if we could stay in the Chaco national site campground (which is in the middle of the Petroglyphs, i think), but as it is first-come/first-serve, we had better make alternate plans… the park itself has put together this list ofalternative camping options in the area… BTW, the Chaco park has put together a “Before you Visit” introduction online…


PLANNING ASSETS

  • New Mexico state official tourism site (about the state, plus things to do, etc.)
  • Native American New Mexico info about native american tribal events and activities open to the public.
  • Chaco Culture National Historical ParkThis Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. It is located in a relatively inaccessible canyon cut by the Chaco Wash, and contains the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico. There is a primitive campground inside the park. Tucked amongst the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyphs, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions, and a high desert landscape. There is no shade. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – in Albuquerque, has a schedule of dance performances as well as other native american cultural programming
  • Manzano state park – a state park near to Albuquerque that has camping
  • something native american? – here is a calendar of new mexico native american events and dances. and this is the site of the taos pueblo, where they sometimes have a very beautiful relgious dance called matachines. and another calendar of dances and events (with notices about photography policy)
  • Acoma Sky City Pueblo tour… on the Acoma reservation that is between Albuquerque and Gallup. It has the oldest continally inhabited pueblo, and there are tours given by tribal members for tourist (seems like it is very well developed tourism, but has gotten high ratings)