We are pleased to learn of your interest in Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Our mission is to preserve and protect the cultural sites and natural features of Chaco Culture National Historical Park for future generations, while making these sites available for everyone to enjoy. Chaco graphically documents a unique chapter in the history of the Southwest with deep spiritual connections to many people. In 1987, the park received international recognition for its superlative cultural and natural resources by being named a World Heritage Site.
We look forward to your class's visit to Chaco Culture National Historical Park. In September 2006 we implemented new policies (attached) to ensure that our fragile cultural resources are protected and that your school's experience at the park is a special one. Our reservation system will help us to plan for your visit. We want to make certain that your group's size is compatible with our facilities and trails through the cultural sites. A ratio of 10 students to 1 teacher/chaperone is ideal to insure students are under supervision and resources are not severely affected. We will meet with each group individually for a general orientation and to explain how to protect Chaco's fragile resources.
Here are some suggestions for planning your visit to Chaco:
You may want to come when there are fewer visitors. April and May are our busiest months for school groups. We have enclosed brochures and other references to help you in planning. You may find it helpful to visit the park prior to the group's visit to plan logistics and talk with the rangers and become familiar with the museum exhibits, cultural sites, trails, and activities.
We hope you will prepare your class for the visit. You may find it useful to design lesson plans that introduce your students to the resources here. We ask that you discuss the enclosed list of rules for visiting the park and preserving our past with your students as well. Please make sure your students know their lesson assignments prior to the visit. We have found that trips are more successful when the adult chaperones understand their responsibilities and the activities the students will engage in. We expect you to remain responsible for the activities of your students at all times.
Please remember to apply for an Entrance Fee Waiver and make separate camping reservations if you plan to camp in the group campsite (limit 60 people total).
If you still have questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to write, call, or email us. We want you and your students to experience this special part of the world in a way that is valuable and rewarding to you.
Barbara West, Superintendent
Did You Know?
The great kiva at Casa Rinconada is 63 feet in diameter, is almost perfectly round, and is aligned on a north-south axis. Hundreds of people would have participated in ceremonies in such a large and important space. More...