Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves the ruins of a massive and vibrant community center, where different clans and groups came together a thousand years ago to trade crafts and share stories.
The structures demonstrate the high skill of the Chacoan people. The complex buildings resemble apartments with large rooms made possible by the sophisticated architecture and construction methods.
Evidence suggests the Chacoan people designed these structures before they were built, rather than adding new rooms as the need arose. The buildings are carefully placed to align with the sun, moon, and compass points. They were positioned so that people could talk to each other across units.
Slopes and channels collected rain water, while earthworks surrounding the structure may have provided protection.
The “great houses” at Chaco Culture National Historical Park may have been a gathering point for representatives from 150 other great houses across the Southwest. People likely came here to trade, exchange ideas, and celebrate important events.
A 9-mile loop road takes you by five different Chacoan sites, which you can explore on foot. Backcountry trails take you deeper into the area. The Chaco Night Sky Program offers a chance to view the stars from this sacred and special place.