Old Jun 4th, 2001, 04:56 AM
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What is the driving distance and time from Santa Fe to Chaco Canyon? Can it be done in a day?

Old Jun 4th, 2001, 05:09 AM
J T Kirk
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It can be done in a day. I've done it. But it's a LONG day. Seems like we left right after breakfast (about 8:30 am) and got back about 8:00 - 9:00 at night. Obviously, you could spend a full day, or more, exploring Chaco, but you can see most of the neat stuff in a day. Even though it's a long drive, I'm glad I did it. Chaco is an otherworldly place. Have fun.
Old Jun 4th, 2001, 07:49 AM
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It is about 170 miles to Chaco from Santa Fe. Considering the kind of road you will be traveling figure the trip to take close to 4 hours. If you decide to do this be sure to check the weather. The general advice is if heavy rain is a possibility do not drive the roads in the Canyon unless you have a 4wd vehicle.
Old Aug 25th, 2010, 11:58 PM
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Santa Fe and Chaco Canyon can be traveled in a day. The driving distance is 178 miles about 3.5 hrs. If you choose to visit chaco canyon wear your saucony running shoes for you to be comfortable.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 03:50 AM
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If you leave SF and head towards Los Alamos, you go right past Bandelier NM which is worth a stop. There are dwellings carved into the rock of the mountainside (really hardened volcanic ash) and are an interesting contrast to Chaco. If you continue west you will pass Vallez caldera and Jemez Springs and the scenery on that route is very nice. Be aware, the road into Chaco from Nageeze is only paved for the first few miles then there is about 15 miles of gravel road. This is fine if they have recently graded it, but not passable if there has been recent rain, so check local conditions.

If you are camping, you can spend the night at Chaco, there is no motel/hotel in the park. The closest lodging we have found is in Bloomfield, about a half an hour north of the road into Chaco, so an hour or so from the park.

Chaco is awesome so do go to it. I would make a stop at Bandelier and take a hike in Tsankawi which is 5 miles closer to SF from the main part of the park, then on to find lodging for the night and go to Chaco the next morning.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 05:12 AM
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Dear kind Fodorites - this post is from 2001 ! Maybe it will help someone else needing this info, but the OP has left the building, long ago
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 05:53 AM
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Thanks DebitNM I didn't notice the initial date.
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