Fajada Butte of Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Fajada Butte of Chaco Culture National Historic Park

Throughout the road trip that I returned from earlier last week, I was telling people that one of the places that left a lasting impression on me was Chaco Culture National Historic Park, aka, Chaco Canyon, and the ruins found therein. The entire complex is quite mesmerizing and is well worth the journey into a completely remote area of northwestern New Mexico.

There is one set of ruins, however, that is closed off to public access due to its fragile nature. Erosion from tourism forced the park service to shut down the Sun Dagger site, which rests at the top of a lone butte called Fajada Butte, rising out of the desert floor at the mouth of Chaco Canyon itself. The site made incredible uses of petroglyphs to mark the equinoxes from both the moon and sun using spirals carved into boulders as light broke through other boulders. A nice illustration can be found on Wikipedia here.

Fajada Butte is only one of many captivating attractions at Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The entire area will bring a profound new appreciation for ruins not just there, but all over the southwest.

No Comments

  1. Alpenglow Images/Greg Russell

    Mike, this is an excellent image; first I like the mood and light…it has the classic feel of sunrise on a cold winter morning–classic northern New Mexico.  Also, this image has some sentimental value; growing up in the Four Corners region, I remember going out to Chaco Canyon for multiple elementary school field trips, as well as Saturday drives with my family when out-of-town visitors would come visit.

    I’m re-invigorated to visit Chaco for a few days when I get a chance.  Thanks!

    • Thank you very much, Greg!  Glad it had a positive effect on you.

      That would be a great place to get to take field trips to.  I only had so much time to learn what I could from the rangers, but I’d imagine even as much as I did learn, I only scratched the surface.  Must’ve been a fascinating place to grow up around!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.