Aztec is your gateway to adventure out into the surrounding wilderness to see ancient Puebloan ruins, Dinétah pueblitos, and late Spanish-American settlements.
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Located in the city limits of Aztec, Aztec Ruins National Monument should be your first stop to visiting ancient Puebloan ruins. A national monument and UNESCO World Heritage site, it includes 400 rooms and North America's largest reconstructed Great Kiva. The self-guided tour is approximately 45 minutes long. In addition, there is a museum, bookstore, restrooms, picnic area and regularly scheduled special events.
➠ More Information and Photos
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Located approx. 80 miles south of Aztec, Chaco Culture National Historical Park is another UNESCO World Heritage site. Central to the ancestral Puebloan culture it is located in a canyon that contains the largest excavated ruins in the Southwest. The area features hundreds of small sites and 13 major ruins, most of which are accessible by car or on foot.
➠ Chaco Culture National Historical Park
➠ Chaco Great Houses / Outliers
➠ Chaco North Road
Located in various canyons east and southeast of Aztec, are numerous Dinetah pueblitos and rock art. Pueblitos are small multi-roomed masonry dwellings found in the Navajo ("Dinetah") homeland in northwest New Mexico. Dating from the early 17th century, Dinetah pueblitos are typically situated in defensive locations which overlook canyons and valleys. It is during this period that clashes between the Navajo, Ute, other Puebloan tribes, and the Spaniards is quite common. A few of these sites are accessible and published in the BLM Defensive Sites of Dinetah Brochure (PDF 4.3 MB)
➠ Crow Canyon Pueblito
➠ Francis Canyon Pueblito
➠ Hooded Fireplace Pueblito
➠ Largo School Pueblito
➠ Simon Canyon Pueblito
➠ Split Rock Pueblito
➠ Tapacito Pueblito
For the more adventurous explorer and off the beaten path, there are a number of other pueblitos to see. Do understand that these sites are more difficult to find, access can be more problematic or near impossible, and many of these sites have not been stabilized and so preservation may be poor.
➠ Adams Canyon Pueblito
➠ Adolfo Canyon Pueblito
➠ Boulder Fortress Pueblito
➠ Canyon View Pueblito
➠ Christmas Tree Pueblito
➠ Compressor Station Pueblito
➠ Delgadito Pueblito
➠ Foothold Pueblito
➠ Gomez Canyon Pueblito
➠ Gomez Point Pueblito
➠ Gould Pass Pueblito
➠ Hidden House Pueblito
➠ Hill Road Pueblito
➠ Hummingbird House Pueblito
➠ Jaramillo Canyon Pueblito
➠ Kin Naa Dáá Pueblito
➠ Kin Wólá Jíní Pueblito
➠ Los Peñoles
➠ Overlook Pueblito
➠ Pointed Butte Pueblito
➠ Pueblito Kin Yahzi
➠ Rabbit House Pueblito
➠ Ridge Top House Pueblito
➠ Shaft House Pueblito
➠ Yeis In Row Pueblito
In addition, the following pueblitos are located on New Mexico State Lands and require a permit to access:
➠ Citadel Pueblito
➠ Old Fort Pueblito
➠ Pork Chop Pass Pueblito
➠ Three Corn Pueblito
➠ Tso'bito Pueblito
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
The Old Spanish National Historic Trail known as the "longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule route in the history of America" runs through New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.
➠ Old Spanish Trail
In addition to the Dinetah sites found scattered throughout the Largo region, there are a number of historic homesteads and structures which were occupied in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Settlements include Euro-American as well as Spanish-American sites:
➠ Haynes Trading Post
➠ Margarita Martinez Homestead
➠ Martin Apodaca Homestead
➠ Nester Martin Homestead
➠ Senon Vigil Homestead
Interested in Tours, Learning More, or Volunteering?
Journey Into the Past Tours
Presented by Salmon Ruins Museum
P.O. Box 125
Bloomfield, NM 87413
➠ Website for Tours
Totah Archaeological Project (TAP)
A research project and field school financially sponsored and administered as a joint project between San Juan College and B-Square Ranch.
➠ TAP Website
Encore Classes through San Juan College
Encore offers classes designed for students 50 years and over but open to students 18 and older. Several classes a semester cover archaeology and include field trips.
➠ Encore Registration and Class Catalog
Northwest New Mexico Site Stewards
Site Steward Volunteers are committed to cultural resource preservation activities that reduce the occurrences of vandalism and destruction of our non-renewable cultural and historic resources. Become a volunteer:
➠ Northwest New Mexico Site Stewards Program
New Mexico BLM Website Article
➠ Of Stone and Stories: Pueblitos of Dinetah
||The sites are hundreds of years old. They are fragile and irreplaceable and your help is needed to preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
||Do not climb on the walls or roofs of any ruins.
||Do not remove artifacts from the sites. You may examine them, but leave them where you found them. Removal of artifacts is a Federal Crime and punishable by law.
||Do not touch rock art panels. The acids on your skin can damage them.
||Pack out your trash.
||Report any vandalism to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hot line at 505-564-7600.
||Maps and directions are for information only and are provided "as is" without warranty or any representation of accuracy, or timeliness of completeness.
||A 4-wheel drive, high clearance vehicle is highly recommended, with a full tank of gas.
||Pack food or energy snacks and bring lots of water.
||Check the weather before heading out. Roads may become impassable when wet.
||Do not cross any washes that have water running in them. You may get stuck or swept away.
||The roads used to access the sites are oil & gas field roads. Be aware of large trucks and keep to the right of the road on hills and blind corners. Some roads may be gated and locked due to private lands scattered throughout the region.
||Cell phone service is not available in some areas.
||Visit these sites at your own risk. The BLM, the State, and the City of Aztec Visitor Center and their employees are not responsible for injuries or damages to personal property.
Federal Laws and Cultural Resources
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Largo School Ruin
Crow Canyon Pueblito
Petroglyph at Crow Canyon Main Panel Site.