Chaco Canyon questions

Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Chaco Canyon questions

Just doing some very preliminary research on a future visit to Chaco Canyon and other interesting sites nearby. Chaco is so remote that I can't quite figure out where to stay. Any info is appreciated.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:15 AM
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Sharon, It's been several years since we've been to Chaco Canyon, but the last time we were there we camped. At that time this was the only way to stay in the park. If you wanted to stay in a motel, you'd have to stay at one in a town on the main road, then travel into the park in the morning. The road in was a dirt road and took at least an hour or so. Chaco is a fantastic place and camping was actually a very enjoyable way to experience the site. Hope this helps. Kathy
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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Hi Sharon,

My sister & I did a road trip seeing ruins of Arizona, Colorado & New mexico a couple of years ago and if I had to do it again, I would not have stayed at the B&B outside the park in Nageezi. It was terrible. Instead, depending which direction you are coming from (& don't wish to camp in the park, there are plenty of hotels in Farmington (north of Chaco) or Albuquerque (southeast of Chaco). Alburquerque is maybe 2 hours to Chaco and Farmington is about 1.5 hours away. Bloomfield, near Farmington is a little closer, has a Best Western, I think.

Whereever you stay, Chaco is amazing, even more impressive than Mesa Verde, IMO.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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Thanks so much for your help. We just booked a flight to Denver in Sept and we'll be heading to Chaco and other spots as well. Any advice on great hikes, scenic drives (we'll have 4wd), cultural sites, etc, is greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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You might consider taking Hwy 550 from Montrose to Durango and a side trip to Mesa Verde National Park either before or after Chaco. At Mesa Verde take the at least two of the three ranger guided tours though the ruins.

As for places to stay, there is a campground at Chaco if you don't mind camping.

Chaco is awesome and I want to get back there soon!

Utahtea
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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utahtea,
I think we will camp at Chaco for a night or two. We are also planning to stay at Mesa Verde for at least a night. Have you been to Bandelier or Bisti Badlands/De Na Zin area? We're so tempted to head toward Moab but trying not to this time. Maybe head to Valley of the Gods and spend some time hiking in Natural Bridges. We've been there only for a quick peak. Any help is appreciated!
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 07:03 PM
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We've been to Bandelier, but wasn't that impressed with these ruins. I haven't been to Bisti Badlands/De Na Zin area but from a couple of web sites I looked at, these areas look very interesting! If you go, you have to report back!

If you're headed to Natural Bridges, you might want to check out Hovenweep National Monument in Utah. I though this are was very impressive. The maps show the roads in Utah to this park, aren't paved, but they are.

Utahtea
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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If you plan on doing any hiking into the backcountry (sites not accessible by car) you need to get a free permit from the visitor center. I was able to get mine a day in advance so as to be on top of the mesa overlooking Pueblo Banito for sunrise.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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Thank you to everyone for the great advice. We are still working on our trip plan. Still haven't decided whether to head straight south from Colorado Springs to New Mexico or instead to Mesa Verde area first. We are definitely considering a stop at Hovenweep since we've skipped it during our Utah trips. We will be doing some backcountry hiking in Chaco so thank you for the permit info. Any feedback on which Chaco hikes people prefer?
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 05:01 AM
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the trail we did was probably the same as the one that photodog took, the pueblo alto trail. the loop trail is about 5.5 miles and overlooks pueblo bonito and other great houses. it's amazing how big they are from that perspective.
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