As we complete our figure eight of New Mexico, we headed through ruins from various Native American tribes. Our first stop was the Chaco Cultural National Historic Park, which is a large area of trading centers from Native American tribes. I won’t go into too many details because the more we learned the more we realized how completely naive we are about the culture of the traveling tribes.
The main event at this park is the Pueblo Bonito. It was constructed over several decades as more and more buildings were added on.
Further in the park was a hike that led to a gorgeous view of the Pueblo. There are many of these along the cliff walls, although this is the biggest and best preserved in the valley which is why I took a picture of it.
The hike had a really fun slot to squeeze through. Harper was the most timid I’ve seen here coming up to this, as behind it is a fairly steep drop off.
The doorways in these places are tiny.
Next up, not to far away, was Aztec Ruins National Monument. Again, there was an incredibly dense museum that I fear even trying to explain lest I create a fantastical alternate Native American history. One thing I do remember, is that no native tribes were known specifically as Aztecs; this was just what foreign travelers used as a general term for the area. Here is a reconstructed Great Kiva in the park, which is an underground ceremonial room:
We finished the day in BLM lands near Farmington, in a incredibly scenic and private campsite in the Angel Peak Recreation Area. The dirt in this area is all soft and we put the van right on the edge of a dropoff just for the internet points.
You can barely make the little vehicle out in the right of the picture here: