Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chaco Culture National Historic Park, April 24- Pueblo Alto and Wijiji trails

The Pueblo Alto Complex trail starts near the Kin Kletso ruins and climbs up to the canyon rim via a short but steep crack in the rocks.  The trail follows the canyon rim offering stunning views  views of some of the ruins that are near the loop road.

Walls at Kin Kletso.  Note how straight and tall they are
 View of Kin Kletso from the rim

 The trail has a short spur out to the Pueblo Bonito overlook.  Wow!  After touring the ruin yesterday, this view put it all together.  It is huge:
 This section shows several of the Kivas:

The trail continues up to the Pueblo Alto Complex and to the New Alto.  New Alto is unique in that the rooms are uniform in size.
 You can see how the masonry has changed.  The bricks are blockier and made out of local stone.  The masonry of the Pueblo Bonito is darker and more refined.  The stone were imported from another site. (a rare picture of me)
A view towards the south where we hike yesterday.

The Chacoans developed over 400 miles of roads to connect the different communities.  One of the most notable sections is the Jackson Stairway.  I can't image hauling materials up or down this section which leads to Chetro Ketl.

 There was one tricky section of the trail...I'm not sure a large person could get through here.
 An over view of Chetro Ketl ruin
 Sandi heading down the crack in the rock back to the canyon floor

Clouds were accumulating and were beginning to darken so I headed back down to the canyon floor, not wanting to get caught in a thunder storm when on the canyon rim.  I continued on the loop road and saw some Chacoan Elk grazing.


The Wijiji trail head starts in our campground and is billed as an easy mile with pictographs near the ruins.

 These ruins were more reddish in color and newer...and built all at the same time.  Other ruins were built over a period of time adding on, repurposing some rooms.  No one knows why there are so many rooms in each of the ruins as most were not occupied.
 Looking closely you can see the pictographs in red.
 Overview of the Wijiji ruins

A great day for seeing some of the ruins of this fascinating culture.  Tomorrow we head out.  I'm dreading the 13 miles of wash board road, but at least I know what to expect.  Chaco Canyon is truly an exceptional place and will worth the effort to get there.  Would I go back.. Yes.  There were several trails I'd like to explore and I feel I just got a small sampling of this amazing culture and place.

Stay tuned.  More to come as I make my way west.

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