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 > Chaco Canyon

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docfitch

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Posted: 10/22/09 12:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As part of our trip next summer, we are considering visiting Chaco Canyon. I have read that the entry from the north is 13 miles of dirt road. We will be traveling in our Dodge truck with camper. Is the road too rough to travel? Ken


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joe b.

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Posted: 10/22/09 12:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have probably been into the park a half dozen times and have never found the road to be good. Always has been wash-boarded, dusty, etc. But the park at the end of the dirt road is well worth it, to put up with driving slow. I tend to figure on about an hour from the highway to the end of the dirt road. Excellent camping and hiking trails, ruins, etc. Beautiful country IMHO.


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 10/22/09 01:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chaco The north entrance is best, and if you take it slow and easy the road shouldn't be too bad. It is shorter on dirt the north entrance, this one is some miles north of Cuba, NM. You can get a map from their web site and perhaps have them mail you one with other information if you email them off the web site. We have not been up there in several years but would like to get back up there. Never taken the egg, but did pull a 20' Kumfort lite in by the south entrance via Crownpoint & Seven Lakes and out the north. It is a nice place to visit, once there the road in the main area is paved. You can get a phone number to call to check road conditions of the web site also. It is so far back in there due to the roads, you would want to spend a night or two. Some of the maps of NM have the old but closed road marked on the north entrance. The first time we went we were in a Truck Camper and went in by a route now closed. You should not have any problems with your rig if the roads are not muddy of course. Mainly the road by the route I mentioned is sandy more than dirt, with spots of gravel. At least it is how I remember it.

I believe JoeB to be correct in his statement, "I have probably been into the park a half dozen times and have never found the road to be good. Always has been wash-boarded, dusty, etc. But the park at the end of the dirt road is well worth it, to put up with driving slow. I tend to figure on about an hour from the highway to the end of the dirt road. Excellent camping and hiking trails, ruins, etc. Beautiful country IMHO." The key would be taking it slow and easy. The road from north entrance, some miles northwest of Cuba, was by far less wash-board and was somewhat smooth in many places. I do not remember it being tooo dusty at all. But sure it is a dirt road, dust will happen. For a dirt road, I felt it wasn't very bad at all. The one we had came in on from the south was much worse and longer in the dirt.

This is the route I have been describing:
From the north, turn off US 550 at CR 7900--3 miles southeast of Nageezi and approximately 50 miles west of Cuba (at mile 112.5). This route is clearly signed from US 550 to the park boundary (21 miles). The route includes 8 miles of paved road (CR 7900) and 13 miles of rough dirt road (CR7950).

Someone wrote this in a post on another forum a year or so ago:

From the south, two routes access Chaco from Highway 9, which runs between Crownpoint, Pueblo Pintado, and Cuba. Both routes can vary from very rough to impassable. Not recommended for RVs. If you are traveling from the south, please call ahead for the latest conditions.

Via Hwy 57(Hwy 14 on some maps): This turnoff is located on Highway 9, 13 miles east of Highway 371, at the former Seven Lakes Trading Post. (20 miles of dirt)

Via Pueblo Pintado: At the community of Pueblo Pintado, turn north on Navajo 46 for 10 miles (rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7900 for 7 miles (some rough dirt). Turn left on County Road 7950, and follow the signs 16 miles to the park entrance (3 miles paved and 13 of rough dirt road).

The northern and southern routes include 13, 20, and 33 miles of dirt roads, respectively. These sections of road are infrequently maintained, and they can become impassable during inclement weather. If you have an RV and are not planning on camping in the park, you may want to leave the RV and drive a car into the park. Call the park (505-786-7014) for current road conditions.

Directions to Chaco and Chaco and Chaco History

I would expect one could find a wide spot to disperse camp, just before or as one leaves the park by the sign, seems to be a likely place to do so. If the campground was filled, next morning I would think you would find a site open. photo of one entrance But this is the one I remember Entrance Sign ..... View of Road

In New Mexico and in the West generally, expect almost any kind of weather; it can change quickly and warm days can be followed with cool to chilly nights. Come prepared "Chaco is located at 6,200 feet in elevation. The weather in Chaco Canyon is unpredictable and can be extreme."

* This post was last edited 08/07/10 05:00pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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docfitch

Pinon Hills, CA, USA

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Posted: 10/22/09 01:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the advice. I figured on driving fairly slow and am not too worried about the rough road. We live on a dirt road full time so the truck is used to it. I just haven't driven that far on rough road with the camper.

mtlogger

Montana/Guatemala

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Posted: 10/25/09 10:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

docfitch wrote:

As part of our trip next summer, we are considering visiting Chaco Canyon. I have read that the entry from the north is 13 miles of dirt road. We will be traveling in our Dodge truck with camper. Is the road too rough to travel? Ken


IMHO - not rough enuf.

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