Early Morning at Pueblo del Arroyo

Early morning at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Early morning at Pueblo del Arroyo

Pueblo del Arroyo doesn’t get the attention it would get if it was a little further away from other well-preserved Chacoan great houses in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, like Pueblo Bonito.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a quick tour.  Because of its location, the sunrise hits it earlier than many of the other ruins, so it’s a great sunrise spot – assuming it’s after 7am, which is when the park opens!

 

Quick Stats

Round Trip Length: 0.33 miles Trail Type: Lollipop loop Elevation Change: N/A Pets: No Fees: $25/vehicle

 



 

Curving walls inside Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Curving walls inside the pueblo

We visited Pueblo del Arroyo very early one summer morning.  In some ways it was an accident; we were on our way to hike the Pueblo Alto Loop, and while others in the group were making last-minute preparations for the hike, a few of us ran across the parking lot to walk around Pueblo del Arroyo.  And then a few more followed, and before you knew it, most of us were wandering around the old stone walls in the early morning sunshine.

Approaching Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Approaching Pueblo del Arroyo

After about 300ft., you have the choice to enter the pueblo or to turn right and go around the western edge.  Since the trail is a loop, it doesn’t really matter which way you go.  I’m more interested in exploring a pueblo than wandering around the outside, so I turned left to enter the pueblo.

Shadows of hikers along the walls of Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Shadows of hikers along the walls

There are several kivas and rooms; the trail isn’t as explore-able as Pueblo Bonito, nor is this structure as large, but it’s still interesting.  We wandered through the structure, then around the southern side and back around the western side, following the packed gravel path.

Walking around the outside of Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Walking around the outside of the pueblo

The moon was setting behind the structures, which was fun.

I'm not sure that you can see the moon, high up above and to the left o the window at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

I’m not sure that you can see the moon, high up above and to the left o the window

But then we had to hurry back to the van to help the others finish packing up for our hike up to Pueblo Alto.  Still, it was a great little side-trip, especially under the swiftly rising sun!

Looking out across the ruins of Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Looking out across the ruins of Pueblo del Arroyo

Round Trip Trail Length: 0.33 miles

Elevation Change: Just a little to get up and over a part of the wall

Facilities: A couple of picnic tables – restrooms are located back at the Pueblo Bonito parking area and about a quarter mile beyond the gate across from Kin Klesto.

Fees: $25/vehicle, valid 7 days.  National Park & Federal Recreational Lands Passes are accepted.

Trail Notes: This isn’t a long hike.  It’s more like an overlook with a little trail than a hike.  Don’t touch, sit, or lean on walls or structures.  Always obey the rope closures and “keep out” notices.  The area is closed at sunset and on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Ruined walls at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Ruined walls

Trail ★

Road ★

Signs ★

Scenery ★

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★

Overall Rating: ★

A more intact part of Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

A more intact part of the pueblo

GPS Coordinates for Pueblo del Arroyo

Trailhead: 36.0621000°, -107.9653333° (N36° 03.726′ W107° 57.920′ / 36°03’43.5600″, -107°57’55.2000″) (5,900ft.) (0.0) (end 0.33)

Go in or go around: 36.0613833°, -107.9657000° (N36° 03.683′ W107° 57.942′ / 36°03’40.9800″, -107°57’56.5200″) (5,917ft.) (315ft.)

A window through the wall at Pueblo del Arroyo - with a balancing rock on the cliff beyond!  Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

A window through the wall – with a balancing rock on the cliff beyond!

The gpx file for Pueblo del Arroyo can be downloaded – please note that this and the GPS Coordinates are for reference only and should not be used as a sole resource when hiking this trail.

File size: 8.7 KB Downloaded 0 times

(Note: I do my best to ensure that all downloads, the webpage, etc. are virus-free and accurate; however, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that might result, including but not limited to loss of data, damages to hardware, harm to users, from use of files, information, etc. from this website.  Thanks!)

One of the surviving curved walls at Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

One of the surviving curved walls

Getting to Pueblo del Arroyo

From I-40, take Exit 53 and turn north onto NM-371N.  After 28.5 miles, turn right onto NM-57 and drive 13.3 miles.  Turn left (following the sign for Chaco) to stay on NM-57 (the road is now dirt, suitable for low clearance vehicles except after storms which may make washes rough until graded) for another 19.2 miles.  Once in the park, turn left on the one-way Chaco Canyon Loop Road about 4 miles to the parking area for Pueblo del Arroyo, etc.

Close up of the stonework in Pueblo del Arroyo, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Close up of the stonework

Alternatively, from the east (US-550) turn onto Road 7900 (signs point toward Chaco Culture National Historical Park) – the turn is on the south side of the road about 15 miles west of Counselor or 3 miles south of Nageezi.  The road is now dirt, but passable to low clearance vehicles in dry weather.  Continue to follow the main dirt road (signs mark any confusing junctions) for about 22 miles to the Chaco Culture Park visitor center.  Continue straight a short distance, then continue straight onto the one-way Chaco Canyon Loop Road for about 4 miles to the parking area for Pueblo del Arroyo, etc.

Visual trail map and elevation profile for Pueblo del Arroyo in Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico

Visual trail map and elevation profile for Pueblo del Arroyo

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