Hiking Trails

Make your first stop the visitor center. From there, a 9-mile (14.5 km) loop road accesses five major Chacoan sites, including Pueblo Bonito. Guidebooks for these sites can be purchased at the park store inside the visitor center. Pets are not permitted on these front country trails. Service animals are the only exception.

All sites and trails are open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (May 1-October 31), 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Nov 1-Feb 28), and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Mar 1-Apr 30). Pets are permitted on backcountry trails as long as they are on leashes no longer than 6 feet. Pet owners must clean up after their animals.

There are four backcountry hiking trails in Chaco Culture National Historical Park: Wijiji Trail, South Mesa Trail, Pueblo Alto Trail, and Peñasco Blanco Trail. Wijiji Trail is the shortest at 3.8 miles (6.1 km) round-trip. The South Mesa Trail is approximately 4.5 miles (7.2 km) - this loop leaves from the Casa Rinconada parking area. The Pueblo Alto Trail is a 5.5 mile (8.9 km) loop - this is the most popular hiking trail due to the mesa-top aerial view of Pueblo Bonito. The Peñasco Blanco Trail is the longest backcountry hike at 7.5 miles (12 km) round-trip. Please talk to a park ranger at the visitor center for more information about each of these hikes. Whichever trail you choose to take, it will provide you with a rare opportunity to experience the sweeping vistas of the mesa landscape and see the impressive Chacoan great houses and roads, as well as help you understand the scope and extent of the Chacoan world.

Backcountry hiking trails require each group to sign in; these sign-in sheets are available at each trailhead. Trails are open during standard park hours; please leave enough time to complete your hike before the loop road closes each night.

A comprehensive trail guide booklet to all of these trails is available for $3.00 at the visitor center bookstore.
Map of the park with the trails marked.
Map of Chaco Culture National Historical Park with trails marked.


Last updated: March 20, 2024

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Nageezi, NM 87037


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