- Historical Site
For approximately 250 years the Ancient Pueblo People (or Anasazi) lived in Chaco Canyon in what were the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. This ancient civilization was the cultural and socio-political center of a region as large as the whole American Southwest before its collapse, the reasons for which remain a highly studied and debated topic.
Much of the Chaco Canyon site is open to visitors, though recent concern over the impact of tourists has led to the closure of certain sites. The entirety of the Chaco site is considered sacred ancestral homeland to the Hopi, Navajo and Pueblo people, and many of the active tribes in the region continue to tell stories of migration from Chaco to their present homes.
Hours + Fees
The park is open everyday from sunrise to sunset. The visitor center is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The park visitor center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’‘s Day, in observance of these holidays, but the park’‘s roads, sites, trails and campground will remain open.
Map + Directions
Chaco Canyon is located in northwestern New Mexico. The preferred and recommended access route to the park is from the north, via US 550 (formerly NM 44) and County Road (CR) 7900, and CR 7950.
From the north, turn off US 550 at CR 7900--3 miles southeast of Nageezi and 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).
From the south, two routes access Chaco from Highway 9, which runs between Crownpoint, Pueblo Pintado, and Cuba. Both routes can vary from very rough to impassable. Not recommended for RVs. If you are traveling from the south, please call ahead for the latest conditions.
Via Hwy 57(Hwy 14 on some maps): This turnoff is located on Highway 9, 13 miles east of Highway 371, at the former Seven Lakes Trading Post. (20 miles of dirt)
Via Pueblo Pintado: At the community of Pueblo Pintado, turn north on Navajo 46 for 10 miles (rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7900 for 7 miles (some rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7950, and follow the signs 16 miles to the park entrance (3 miles paved and 13 of rough dirt road).
The northern and southern routes include 13, 20, and 33 miles of dirt roads, respectively. These sections of road are infrequently maintained, and they can become impassable during inclement weather. If you have an RV and are not planning on camping in the park, you may want to leave the RV and drive a car into the park. Call the park (505-786-7014) for current road conditions.