Chaco Canyon covers a vast amount of ground and there are several ancient rock art trails to be found throughout this National Park. One of the easiest petroglyph trails to access is the one that runs between Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl. Both of these gigantic structures are located next to the paved touring loop and the parking areas are ample. Signage marks the foot trails to follow and the long petroglyph wall runs along the base of the mesa between the two great house pueblos.
Many native cultures have direct ties to Chaco Canyon that date back thousands of years. Chaco has been proven to be much more than just a big ancient city, because the overall design is more like a ceremonial center. Ancient astronomical practices took place here and the local agricultural system extended beyond the horizons. With all this going on, it is easy to imagine that reading the local ancient newspaper rocks will be a captivating experience!
Several different petroglyph styles can be viewed along the base of the sandstone mesa between Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl. The individual styles can indicate the age of the carvings, as well as the cultural origin. Some carvings indicate wild game hunting in the area, astronomical events and seasonal harvests. Other carvings look like maps or tribal symbols. Each has a story to tell and hours can be spent pondering over the messages that have been lost in time. For this reason, be sure to pack some extra water because hours can be spent viewing the ancient rock art along the Pueblo Bonito-Chetro Ketl Petroglyph Trail!
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