Snow covers desert plants with low clouds and fog on the horizon; a tall butte covered in snow peeks out above the fog in the distance.
Fajada Butte

NPS photo

Chaco is located at 6,200 feet (1,980 meters) in elevation. The weather in Chaco Canyon is unpredictable and can be extreme. Come prepared for all possibilities!

Summer highs are typically in the 80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to mid-30s Celsius). 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 Fahrenheit (-7 or lower Celsius).

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 it.

A huge muddy collection of water floods a campground, with an RV and cars in other campsites, and a picnic table partially under the water.
Gallo campground flooded after a storm.

NPS photo

Last updated: February 5, 2024

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PO Box 220
Nageezi, NM 87037


505 786-7014

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