Doing the native heritage tour of New Mexico does require careful planning. This is because over one thousand miles can be racked up when doing the complete tour and some of the destinations may require a few days to be thoroughly explored. There are also many native cultural centers and trading posts in this region that simply must be checked out along the way, so plenty of time must be set aside for unplanned stops.
The choice of vehicle can be a limiting factor for visiting some of the ancient pueblo locations, because some of the dirt roads are too rough for low ground clearance passenger cars. There are organized group tour excursions available in the regional cities and most are best booked well in advance. Many of the ancient pueblo locations are in remote areas that offer little or no amenities and the distance to the nearest town can be over 75 miles, so a visitor will have to take the fuel mileage into account as well.
The weather also has a way of interfering with an ancient pueblo tour of New Mexico. Most of northern New Mexico is high mesa territory and the peak of winter can bring plenty of snow. On the opposite extreme, the high desert environment can be brutally hot when July rolls around. The monsoon rain storm season of summer also can interfere with travel plans, because flash floods can wash out the dirt roads. When planning a tour of ancient pueblos in this state, it is best to pick a mild weather season, like spring or fall, then keep an eye on the forecasts shortly before setting sail.
The actual time that it takes to do a complete ancient heritage site tour of New Mexico is well over three months. This is because there are so many sacred places to see in this vast territory and the travel mileage will be well into the four digit range. Therefore, the best plan is to focus on touring one section or one region at a time. For example, touring the Four Corners Region, the Santa Fe Loop or the ancient pueblos in the southern half of the state each take about one week to cover. Some of the big ancient pueblo complexes offer so much to experience that they are a week long venture of their own, so as far as vacation time management is concerned, some careful thought must be applied.
Chaco Canyon is one of the largest ancient pueblo destinations and this pueblo complex is so large, that a visitor could spend more than a week here and never run out of interesting things to do. The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a protected World Heritage Site that covers a vast area. This native sacred place has some of the largest and most well preserved ancient pueblos in the west.
Upon arrival, the narrow canyon opens up into a majestic valley expanse that extends to the horizon. The views of the Chaco Canyon setting are as picturesque as can be and it does not take long to feel that there is something truly special about this place. Ancient native cultures were keenly aware of everything from magnetic ley lines to astronomy, so they were conscious of places where the Mother Earth Spirit guided them to and the same harmonious feeling can be experienced upon arrival.
Chaco Canyon is a mysterious native spiritual place and it must be respected as such when touring the grounds. There are many park rules to follow, so the first stop should be where awareness can be found. After passing by the Chaco Culture National Historical Park welcome sign, the first stop should be the visitor center. The park Visitor Center offers a wealth of information about the Chaco Culture, which was a major influence in ancient times. Maps of the many ancient pueblo sites, petroglyph locations and the hiking trails are complimentary with the price of the entrance fee. The visitors center is also a museum and the rangers explain the regulations for visiting the back country sites. This is the best place to gain some insight into the Chaco Culture and the significance of the pueblo complexes that they built.
The park Visitor Center is also where to find out about the camping options. Register for campsites can be done at the campground booth or with the campground hosts. Because there is so much to experience at Chaco Canyon and because this destination is in a very remote location, camping is by far the best option. The Cliff Dwellings Campground offers facilities and RV slips, so the comfort level is good. Reservations can be made ahead of time at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park website and booking a campsite in advance is highly suggested for busy holiday weekends.
The official theme of the Chaco Canyon Cliff Dwellings Campground is “Camping Among The Ancients!” Visitors can literally bed down in an area that was inhabited by ancient native civilizations long ago. There are cliff side pueblo dwellings next to the camping area that are over one thousand years old, so it is easy to be mesmerized by this unique setting, especially if you happen to be an archeology buff! The Chaco Culture National Historical Park is an official dark sky at night site, so visitors can gaze at the same constellations that the ancient ancestors observed long ago. Often there is some wildlife to observe in the lush green meadow next to the campground and elk can be seen feeding in this area during the monsoon season.
A trip to the Chaco Culture National Historical Park will reward visitors with a peaceful Mother Earth Spirit experience! Chaco Canyon is one of the most significant ancient sites in the world and the mysteries of this sacred place still baffle modern experts. Oil drilling and gas fracking industries currently threaten the Chaco Canyon region, so now it is more important than ever to take an interest in visiting this famous World Heritage Site. Tourism activism is the saving grace in this age of rampant political corruption and the tourism dollars help to protect the public lands.
Camping definitely is the best way to go as far as the Chaco Canyon region accommodations are concerned, so be sure to get geared up. Camping among the ancients next to an ancient pueblo complex sure is an appealing escape from the modern world and you can actually make this dream happen at the Chaco Culture National Historical Park!
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