Ermak Travel Guide

 

The World at your fingertips 

 

 

 

Feel free to leave your comments below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information or experience in a particular place your input is more than welcome.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park

 

 

 

Location: San Juan and McKinley Counties, NM    Map

Area: 33,978 acres (13,750 ha)

Info: (505) 786- 7014

Open: 8am- 5pm daily

Official site

 

 

 

Description of Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, better known as Chaco Canyon or Chaco Canyon, is a national historical park of the United States (formerly a national monument) and a World Heritage Site of the Unesco that houses the densest and most exceptional concentration of towns in the Southwest of the United States. The park is located northwest of New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a relatively inaccessible valley cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the largest amount of ancient ruins in northern Mexico, the park preserves one of the most important cultural and historical areas of America.

Between the year 900 and 1150, Cañón del Chaco was an important cultural center of the Anasazi. The inhabitants of the region obtained blocks of sandstone and transported wood from great distances, assembling fifteen important complexes that continued being the largest constructions in North America until the 19th century. An evidence of elaborate archaeoastronomy developed in the Chaco was suggested after discovery of the petroglyph "Daga del Sol" on the Fajada Hill. Many Chacoan constructions were aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of expertly coordinated construction. It is believed that climate change led to an emigration of the Chacoanos and an eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a drought of 50 years in 1130.

Located in the arid and inhospitable region of the Four Corners, Chacoan cultural sites are fragile. Fears of eruption caused by tourists led to the closure of the Fajada Hill to the public. The sites are considered sacred ancestral lands of the Hopi, Navajo and Pueblo peoples, who continue to maintain oral traditions that relate their historical migration from the Chaco and their spiritual relationship with the land. While the preservation of parks maintains conflicts with the religious beliefs of the natives, the representatives of the tribes work closely with the National Park Service to share their knowledge and respect for the heritage of the Chacoan culture.

 

 

 

 

Fees and permits

Entrance fees for the park are $4 for individuals, $8 for cars, and are good for seven days.

There are several passes for groups traveling together in a private vehicle or individuals on foot or on bike. These passes provide free entry at national parks and national wildlife refuges, and also cover standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. These passes are valid at all national parks including Chaco Culture National Historical Park:

The $80 Annual Pass (valid for twelve months from date of issue) can be purchased by anyone. Military personnel can obtain a free annual pass in person at a federal recreation site by showing a Common Access Card (CAC) or Military ID.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over can obtain a Senior Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site for $80, or through the mail for $90; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and age. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities. Seniors can also obtain a $20 annual pass.
U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities can obtain an Access Pass (valid for the life of the holder) in person at a federal recreation site at no charge, or through the mail for $10; applicants must provide documentation of citizenship and permanent disability. This pass also provides a fifty percent discount on some park amenities.
Individuals who have volunteered 250 or more hours with federal agencies that participate in the Interagency Pass Program can receive a free Volunteer Pass.
4th graders can receive an Annual 4th Grade Pass that allows free entry for the duration of the 4th grade school year (September-August) to the bearer and any accompanying passengers in a private non-commercial vehicle. Registration at the Every Kid in a Park website is required.
In 2018 the National Park Service will offer four days on which entry is free for all national parks: January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), April 21 (1st Day of NPS Week), September 22 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day weekend).

Campsites (see below under "Sleep") are $10/night, with a $5 discount for holders of a Park Pass. Permits are required for backcountry hiking. They're free and available at the visitor center, or at the trailheads.

 

 

 

blog comments powered by Disqus