Photo of cloud over Pueblo Bonito
Cloud above Pueblo Bonito

Mandy Harmon

Chaco is located at 6,200 feet in elevation. The weather in Chaco Canyon is unpredictable and can be extreme. Come prepared for all possibilites!

Summer highs are typically in the 80's to mid-90's. Thunderstorms can produce heavy localized downpours and sudden dramatic drops in temperatures. Hypothermia, lightning, and flash floods are real concerns.

Winter temperatures will drop to well below freezing most nights. If you plan to camp in the winter, prepare for nighttime temperatures in the teens or lower.

Spring and Fall are great times to visit with more moderate temperatures, but unexpected storms can change things dramatically. Monitor local weather forecasts.

When hiking the canyon, be prepared for heat, rain, wind, and unexpected changes in temperature. Carry a rain poncho and a jacket or sweater. Wear hiking boots and a wide-brimmed hat, and use sunscreen. Carry and drink extra water. Eat lots of snacks. Take your time adjusting to the altitude and don't overdo.

Photo of Chaco Wash in flood
Chaco Wash Flood, July, 2006

NPS Photo

Photo of Fajada Butte in snow
Fajada Butte in snow

NPS Photo/G. B. Cornucopia

Last updated: December 13, 2017

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Nageezi, NM 87037


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