Rio Puerco Field Office NM
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Open year-round.
- Motorized use of the trail is prohibited.
- Please do not remove or damage archaeological resources. Even small pottery sherds found on the surface can establish the time period when this site was occupied.
- The Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 make it illegal to excavate, remove, damage, or deface archaeological resources. Penalties of up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine can be imposed.
The sites of the Chacoans are among the best known archaeological sites in the American Southwest. Between A.D. 700 and 1150, the Chaco Culture flourished, with Chaco Canyon serving as the social and religious center of the Northern Southwest. During the 900s and 1000s, a series of “Chacoan Outliers,” structures similar to those in Chaco Canyon, was constructed in western New Mexico, southwest Colorado, eastern Arizona and southeast Utah. Many outliers were connected to Chaco Canyon or other outliers through a network of prehistoric roads. The outliers and connecting roads offer a view to an ancient landscape of astonishing scale and complexity. The Chacoan region as defined by the distribution of outliers and Chaco Canyon itself was recognized internationally though placement on the UNESCO World Heritage list.