Museum Closed Starting October 27, 2014
The Aztec Ruins museum will be closed starting Monday, October 27, 2014 to prepare for new exhibits to be installed in April 2015. The visitor center, video, and self-guided trail will remain open.
Things To Do
Visitor Center: Begin your visit at the visitor center to pay any entrance fee, receive an orientation to the archeological site, and pick up a trail guide. The visitor center museum displays a variety of ancient artifacts excavated at or related to Aztec Ruins. Throughout the day a 15 minute video, Aztec Ruins: Footprints of the Past, reveals the pre-Columbian history of the Four Corners region and offers diverse perspectives from Pueblo people, Navajo tribal members, and archeologists.
Self-Guided Trail: Aztec Ruins provides visitors an opportunity to explore the ancestral Pueblo "Great House" known as Aztec West. A self-guided 700-yard walk winds through rooms built centuries ago. Along the way discover skillful stone masonry, remarkably well-preserved wood roofing, and original mortar in some walls. The interpretive trail guide combines modern archeological findings with traditional Native American perspectives. Near the trail's end, visitors enter the Great Kiva. This awesome semi-subterranean structure, over 40 feet in diameter, was the social and religious center of the ancient complex. Now reconstructed, Aztec Ruins' Great Kiva is the oldest and largest reconstructed building of its kind.
Interpretive Programs: Rangers offer interpretive talks and tours at scheduled times. Other activities include scholarly lectures, demonstrations of traditional American Indian arts, and special events. The times and locations of these programs are posted about a month in advance on the schedule of events.
Did You Know?
These “Aztec” Ruins are not ancient Aztec temples. Ancestral Pueblo people built this place. Scholars once thought the Aztecs migrated to Mexico from the southwestern U.S., causing early settlers to mistakenly call these monumental ruins along the Animas River - the "Aztec Ruins."