Some Views of the
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Mesa Verde Nat'l Park
Chaco Canyon, Bisti and The Climate
666, 64, 371, I-40 + 550 (was 44), 7900
. We like this route from
Mesa Verde NP to Hwy I-40. Go south on NM Hwy 666 to Shiprock,
then east on Hwy 64 a short ways to Farmington.
Then south down Hwy 371 for the nice
Bisti De-Na-Zin where
you can see
along the roadside, to
Hwy I-40. But there
are a couple of
great stops that you should make before leaving Four Corners and New
Mexico -- Chaco Canyon and
highly acclaimed park, a wonderful park and it
is a World Hertage Site along
with nearby Mesa Verde NP (see page 4) and Grand Canyon NP. BUT
lodging is about 50 miles away in Bloomfield, east of
Farmington (there is a no-frills, no-hookup campground
in the park for campers); it takes a couple of days to see the
park; and the last 16 of the 50
miles is washboard dirt road. Video
clip -- even with air ride on our coach the washboard road is
and made more
obvious by Jan. Much
with lighter cars and pickups as they whizzed by our heavy rig.
those things do not discourage you, then continue on! Coming east on
Hwy 64, go thru Farmington to Bloomfield, then south on Hwy 550 (was
44) to CR 7900
just south of
Route 57 is now closed. Follow CR 7900 and signs to Chaco
sure to check with the visitor center for activities like the
neat stargazing 'Star Party.'
(CR = County Road)
Jan and I tried entering the park from
south on Route 9 but, "Unless you are a local
Indian and know all the rough dirt trails, you won't get there," sez
the Sheriff of Crownpoint as we quarried him about the roads. We went in from the
leaving the Chaco Canyon, crossover west to Hwy 371 and there are
cuts. We like CR 7500, an interesting dirt road
that leads down the back side of Bisti to Hwy 371, see map.
Ask locals for
current dirt road
conditions. The other short cut is the first paved road going west and
is farther north. Since you will be
seeing the Mother of all Anasazi Pueblos, you can pass on Aztec Ruin NM.
Climate and Weather
neither Four Corners nor the New Mexico maps is Bisti
NM Hwy 371 and is just
of Chaco Canyon. It is one of those
wonderful and esoteric jewels I
found while surfing the net. I give it a gold star and it is a
is on BLM land where camping
is free (usually but not always).
into Bisti to see the
hoodoos, the road into the area is shaped like the letter "L." See
is 8 mile north of the intersection with CR 7500, (or
you are driving south
on Hwy 371 from Farmington, it's about 36 miles) watch carefully for small
Turn east on CR 7297 and continue about
1.5 mile to a "T." Turn left, north, on the shorter leg of the "L"
and go up the
mile, past the parking
right bordered by a fence. Just
after the parking lot and before the hill, look
trail on the left and then find any place to
park. Then grab your
camera and stroll around hoodoodom.
The existing trail where we parked has
lots and lots of tire tracks
so I am sure it
is OK to
park there. There are no rangers about, no
visitor center to ask hoodoowhatwhere, and no signage.
When you leave
the Bisti, head south to Hwy I-40 and to the end a of a marvelous
into the past but
it is the beginning of another.
weather from Petrified
Forest to Monument Valley is very similar.
At 6000+ ft elevation, it is a little too warm for us coastal
The average tempurature is 6
cooler in Mesa
Verde at higher altitude. But getting
there is another matter -- Phoenix
and Yuma are well over 100°.
Remember these are averages tempuratures and that half the days are
over the average. It
is not my idea of fun in June, July
or August, driving thru El
Centro and Phoenix.
averages from Petrified Forest to Monument Valley
cooler at Mesa Verde in the summer
De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area
and wonderful rock formations
Area is noted for dinosaur fossils. If you are fortunate,
may find one!
Camp anywhere on BLM. No fees -- just as it ought to be
A local came by our camp, Nelson B, with Light'n -- shared
Some Views of
Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Culture
Park from The Overlook
father Joseph (father Joe)
Kin Kletso Pueblo
View of Chaco Canyon -- looking southeast
At mid-distance, Pueblo Bonito on L and Pueblo Del Arroyo on R
Stairway to The Overlook
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Wild aborigine women are very friendly --
even took us home!
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