Chaco Culture National Historic Park
Bicycling at Chaco is a pleasant way to get around to some of the more popular points. You are welcome to ride on the canyon roads that are open to other visitor vehicles. And there are two backcountry trails open to bicycling. Bike stands are located at all trail and ruin parking lots. However, bicycles are verbotten within any ruins and on the trails not designated for biking.
("greasewood", diwozhii, one of several Navajo names for this building.)
Built around A.D. 1115. Do not hike or bike beyond the ruin.
Trailhead: Approximately 100 yards east of Gallo Campground entrance.
Distance: 3 miles (5.0 km) round-trip.
Time: 30 minutes to an hour round-trip.
The trail to Wijiji follows the old Sargent Ranch road up the north side of Chaco Wash. About 1720, descendants of mixed heritage, Pueblo and Navajo, migrated along the wash herding sheep and farming. Depredations by other native groups led them to build "pueblitos", fortified stone structures.
In 1898, a wealthy Chama sheepman, Edward Sargent, brought large herds of sheep into the canyon for winter grazing. This eventually caused conflict between the two groups and records indicate intrigue, murder, livestock rustling, and other violence.
Because the ruins of Wijiji are within former Navajo homelands, their legends include this greathouse. One oral account maintains that a Pueblo woman living near Wijiji taught the Navajo how to weave. Navajos continued to live on the mesa above and in the canyon until 1948.
("Blackhouse" in Navajo) built around A.D. 1087.
Trailhead: From the Visitor Center, go south on U.S. Highway 57.
Distance: From the Visitor Center23.8 miles (38 km) round-trip.
Time: 4 to 5+ hours round-trip.
This road is occasionally used by vehicles. Please give them the right-of-way. Remember, from park boundary to park boundary along this route is Navajo Tribal land and should be respected as private property.
Kin Klizhin is one of the "outliers" of the Chaco Anasazi. Tied both visually and physically to Chaco Canyon, it can be seen from Tsin Kletsin on South Mesa, and has a prehistoric road feature. The prehistoric road leads from South Cap in the canyon and continues past Kin Bineola, another "outlier." Also associated with Kin Klizhin are dams and irrigation canals.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication