We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

chaco canyon

Stillwater...
Level Contributor
227 posts
102 reviews
Save Topic
chaco canyon

we are planning on visiting chaco canyon this week from santa fe. We have a yukon with 25ft trailer, and are thinking about camping. I know that the northern route is really our only option for driving in. i was wondering the chances of getting a campsite, and are there any other options for accommodations outside the park before the gravel roads, to camp or to stay in a motel. We don't want to get stuck without a place to stay.

Albuquerque, New...
Destination Expert
for New Mexico
Level Contributor
1,944 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: chaco canyon

I posted on your other post about getting in and out of Chaco. But, I will revise a little here, since you are pulling a travel trailer.

You shouldn't have any trouble in Chaco for a campsite, and no, there isn't much else anywhere near the Park to camp. Just remember, 19 miles of the road are dirt, and are really quite rough. And, don't try the south way out, as I said in my other post.

If, by any stretch of the imagination, the campgrounds are full, (not likely), you will have to go back out the north road, and continue to the Bloomfield-Farmington area for camping.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
20,794 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: chaco canyon

Take it slow. It looks like there will be no rain/snow this week, so you should be ok. Make sure you have dumped you grey/black water tanks and filled up your propane and water. It will be below freezing at night, so you will need to keep the heaters on. During the week you really should not have any problems getting a campsite. Also there are telescopes and night programs.

Have you visited Mesa Verde NP? If not, then I would go there from Chaco, then to Canyon de Chelly. Also Navajo Nat Mon west of Monument Valley is a great little monument with small campground.

Stillwater...
Level Contributor
227 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: chaco canyon

Thank you both for your input. We need electricity for our heat so I guess we should pick up a propane heater. The site said only 8 miles of gravel if we come in via 7900 and 7950. You suggested that there are almost 20 miles of gravel. Is that the same route. How long do you think it would take us from Santa Fe to Chaco? We were thinking of getting a head start by staying one night in the B & B in Cuba, that way we would only be a couple of hours away. We were only planning on one overnight in Chaco.

Stillwater...
Level Contributor
227 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: chaco canyon

One more question... is there water at Chaco Canyon campground, so that we can fill our take there?

USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: chaco canyon

We used to live near there on the reservation. The drive over via Abiquiú lake is quite scenic but longer.

There should be water at the campground, but don't drink it:

nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
20,794 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: chaco canyon

Chaco is not a place to go if you need services for your trailer. No water to fill tanks so you need to fill up prior to driving out there. They do have seasonal drinking water, not sure when they close down. If you don' t have a propane heater in your trailer, then you really will be uncomfortable and also any water in your tanks could freeze.

From Santa Fe into Chaco is about 4 hours in a car, longer with a trailer. Contact the park for better information and conditions. http://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm

USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: chaco canyon

There is non-potable water at the campsite & drinking water at the visitor center. Not sure either a CasaAzul said if the drinking water is shut down.

"The campground has water (non-potable) and restrooms with flush toilets. Site #16 and both restrooms are handicap accessible. There are no showers or hook-ups. Drinking water is available 24 hours a day in the Visitor Center parking area."

nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

Perhaps contact the visitor center to clarify.

Albuquerque, New...
Level Contributor
2,169 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: chaco canyon

You have already received some excellent information, but as one advisor suggested, I would call direct to the National Park for specific last minute information. Cuba and Bloomfield are the two nearest towns with motels/restaurants...both probably 1 1/2 to 2 hours distant.

The entrance road, just east of the trading post of Nageezi on US550, is paved for the first 5 miles or so...this lulls you sleep, LOL...the next 18 or so miles are on dirt/clay which can be very dangerous with wet weather. As Casa Azul says, this week is supposed to be sunny and dry. The final 4-5 miles into the park (paved roads inside Chaco) has some really nasty washboards. I would recommend not over 25mph. My sister cracked her battery on this stretch! On the dirt portion one can go about 40, but that is not pulling a pretty long trailer. If you are going north, I would ditto Mesa Verde (their campground is down near the entrance, so you don't have to take it up the curving road to the cliff dwellings.)

Check out Aztec National Monument in between Chaco and Mesa Verde also. Fantastic, restored underground ceremonial kiva.

Have a safe trip!

Charlottesville...
Level Contributor
2,029 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: chaco canyon

I was NM in late Oct., and just now read your post about Chaco Canyon. Appreciate hearing how your trip went, and for the sake of others who are interested, will mention our experience staying at Chaco.

We spent 3 nights in Chaco in March in a mobile home that I rented from Garricks RV in Flora Vista, and we really had to drive slowly, usually no more than 15 mph on the unpaved road. It was bumpy in a 29' mobile home, and stuff was moving around quite a bit if we went any faster.

We took our own water for drinking and cooking, and there is also drinking water available at the visitor's center. The toilets worked fine in the rest room at the campground, but, as noted, no showers.

I've hiked Chaco a # of times on my trips to NM over the past few yrs, but spending 3 nights there helped us experience Chaco at a much different pace. We had an extraordinary sunset one evening. For persons interesting in staying in the campground, I recommend spending a night when the park rangers give their night sky presentation, which includes viewing the night sky through the telescope in the observatory.

The Chaco campsites cannot be reserved in advance. I believe the closest place to camp or park an RV near Chaco is the primitive camping at Angel Peak, on 550 south of Bloomfield.

And concur with NM_Photo about Aztec Ruins. As a Chaco outlier, it is well preserved, and the experience of entering the restored kiva is remarkable. In addition, the Aztec visitor center museum provides quite a bit more information about native culture than the Chaco visitor center.

take care, alashas

www.youtube.com/user/honeymoon2southwest

10. Re: chaco canyon

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:15 am, November 23, 2013