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Old 04-15-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
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Chaco Canyon road report?

Has anyone been on the road into Chaco recently? I am thinking I may visit in about a week. I know its usually awful but hope springs eternal....
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:07 PM   #2
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If you go, please post a report here. We're planning on a visit in about three weeks.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
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We visited there (day-trippers) about 18 months ago. As I sit here now, I'm still on the fence about whether I'd want to take my trailer there. The road was very rough - worse than anything we found going to Alaska and back.

But, then again - it was not very satisfying to just drive in without camping. I think it is one of those places that requires investing the effort to go. I can only imagine the dark night skies. OK - I've decided: I'm taking the camper next time.

The road is rough, so you need to go very slowly to keep from beating your rig to death. But the only thing that will prevent you from getting there is if the road is blocked by water. So a call or email to the NP site should tell you that.

Man- I wish I was on the road.

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Old 04-18-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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I've researched the road because we love that area and history. The conventional wisdom is to not take a mo/ho in, and we've been on some pretty funky roads, too. I'd find a spot to unhook and take the TV in first.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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Is your trailer a single or tandem axel? Rough roads are harder on single axel units.

If you carry a portable compressor you might think about lowering your tire pressure to about 50%, if your tires are not too old it won't hurt them at low speeds.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #6
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It's always rough. A constant washboard. But I have done it with the trailer...you just need to plan on driving at about 10mph for most of the dirt portion. But it was worth it to be able to have the time to hike out to the remote ruins and look at the night sky through their large telescope on site. Call to check to make sure all the CG facilities are operational and ask for a road report.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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When it rains, the road turns to axle-deep muck. We went in over the washboard and came out in muck. I didn't have 4WD, and I really sweated the trip out.

A later owner took my trailer in a year later (22' dual axle) and had substantial interior damage on arrival.

It is worth the trip, but drive slowly. School busses use that road, so there is road maintenance.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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Road report

I just visited Chaco. They have recently graded parts of the dirt road section and the road is in good condition (in Chaco terms) at the moment. There are still ruts and some sections of wash-boarding. I was able to go between 15-20 MPH much of the way. My eggs all survived going in, but alas, most did not make it out. You will be all be missed guys, good eggs each and every one of you. I suppose that was a bad yoke......
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:00 AM   #9
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Good for you, Rodney. How was Chaco (not the road?) Good weather, good views, etc?

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Old 04-25-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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Rodney, when you were there, did you notice the large terrain-unusual piles of rock/dirt on the opposite side of the canyon from the excavated ruins?

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Old 04-27-2010, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
Good for you, Rodney. How was Chaco (not the road?) Good weather, good views, etc?

Pat
Chaco, was wonderful as always. Having said that, it was kind of crappy weather for a visit. Cold and windy; took some of the zest out of hiking in among the ruins. I think if I were to do some volenteer work at a NP, Chaco would be high on my list. More on the visit here

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Rodney, when you were there, did you notice the large terrain-unusual piles of rock/dirt on the opposite side of the canyon from the excavated ruins?

Lynn
I have to confess I did not notice that. What are they?
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:24 PM   #12
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Ah, I'm wondering if they are unexcavated ruins. It stands to reason at a place as large as Chaco that there would be plenty more places.

If you've been up to Aztec Ruins National Monument in NM, they have all the excavated (and reconstructed) stuff, but there's a little sign off to the side pointing to unexcavated ruins, which you're also not allowed to walk on. It looks like a big pile of dirt and rock, albeit out of place, given the local terrain.

Pretty much the same story over at Homolovi Ruins State Park outside of Winslow, AZ (now closed, I think). The unexcavated stuff is pretty unremarkable at far glance, though at Homolovi you get (or got) to walk up close to them. And then things were interesting: Pottery shards all over creation.


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Old 05-07-2010, 10:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
I've researched the road because we love that area and history. The conventional wisdom is to not take a mo/ho in, and we've been on some pretty funky roads, too. I'd find a spot to unhook and take the TV in first.
We have a good TV, and it sounds like we might follow this advice. Are there any BLM lands or state/NP campgrounds near Chaco that we could use as a basecamp for our Bambi?
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:42 PM   #14
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Looks like there's the Gallo campground, not far from the visitor center...looks kind of open from the pic, but only $5 with a US senior pass...lots to see in that area....

Chaco Culture National Historical Park - Campgrounds (U.S. National Park Service)

I noticed this disclaimer on one of the maps...

"Warning: Numerous visitors have reported that GPS devices are not accurate in the Chaco area. Please use our written directions to avoid getting lost."

Native American spirits may not be in tune with our 21st century ways, perhaps...

Ray
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