New Mexico -Chaco Culture National Historic Park

New Mexico -Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998
From: Robert McCuen ,
Subject: RE: Chaco Culture National Historical Park/World Heritage Park

Mile upon mile of desolate prairie approach the Bisti Badlands and DeNaZin Wilderness areas in west-central New Mexico. Adjacent to these "badlands" is the richest source of early American history, Chaco Culture National Historical Park & World Heritage Site.

Renowned for its complexity and stark simplicity, the enigma of major ancient AmerIndian culture flourishing in the midst of a barren landscape still eludes modern archaeologists and scholars.

The very mystery and questions about these earliest Puebloans is what makes a dismal trip to their cultural hub worthwhile. 20 grueling miles at only 20-25mph is routine; dust and heat are common.....until you enter the Canyon!

Suddenly dropping into Chaco Wash, you are confronted with 13 "Great Houses". More are there, but only 13 have been excavated. Compare Pueblo Bonito with 800+ rooms in its adobe ruins grandeur to the rock fascia of Casa Rinconada, the largest Great Kiva ever found. Or traipse across the mesa top to Pueblo Alto, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Canyon at your feet--overlook any of the other major sites.

A day is not nearly enough to encompass nor visit all of the sites that Chaco Canyon has to offer. Days can be spent here, and still the mystique remains.

Robert McCuen

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