Chaco Canyon Trip - NM

Have you ever wanted to explore Chaco Canyon, a famous Native American Indian Ruin site, in New Mexico?  Now is your chance!  Many of those signed up have wanted to go but were limited by access and companionship.  Meetup is changing at least the companionship part so we are going.  The site has very limited access because high clearance vehicles are suggested.  The north entrance is recommended so the drive there will be likely around 9 hours.  Also, camping is the only option if you want to stay more than a day in the park.

We will leave Friday for Chaco Canyon and explore the park all day Saturday and head back to Phoenix on Sunday.  We will be hosting a social for those interested in going to talk about logistics for the trip soon.

Camping sites are first come/first serve and so far we will need at least 2 (2 tents permitted per camping site).

 

For more information about camping at Chaco Canyon go here:

http://www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

For more information about Chaco Canyon go here:

http://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm

 

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  • Ross M.

    I just filled up my tank for the first time after new Mexico. 510 miles; 17 gallons! I've never gotten 30mpg before, or over 500 miles on a tank with any margin. I'm very excited! Thanks for buying gas everyone!

    May 3, 2013

  • Ross M.

    One picture had both focused. I think I know how I did it, but the truth is in the settings. Thanks for all the pictures, Lisa and Brian! I saved a few favorites.

    April 28, 2013

  • Ross M.

    I'm done uploading my best pictures. I think a few are nice! I included a few experimental window shots. I'm not sure you can see all the embedded photo settings, Lisa. Which effect do you like? Window focused, frame focused, or both focused?

    Sarah, your humor is great! Don't change! I enjoyed it.

    April 28, 2013

    • Lisa

      The goal is to get them both focused! Nice moon shots.

      April 28, 2013

  • Ross M.

    Thanks, Brian, for such awesome cooking! I'm going to try your recipes!

    April 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Such an awesome trip! Thanks to Lisa, Ross, and Brian for having such positive attitudes in spite of my low-brow humor. Lobster had a blast!

    April 28, 2013

  • Lisa

    Fantastic!

    April 28, 2013

  • Lisa

    We like to be in the shade! Its cold in the shade!

    April 28, 2013

  • Brian

    Was that a great trip or what??? Thanks Lisa, Ross, and Lobster for such a memorable experience!

    April 28, 2013

  • Lisa

    We had a great trip. We were able to take the south route so the drive was much shorter. We even extended the trip on our way back by going to Banderos Volcano and still got back at 5:30pm. Too much sun for my pictures though - my pictures weren't that good.

    April 28, 2013

  • Ross M.

    What a wonderful trip! It was great to share it with all of you! I'm finally home and bringing things in. Looking forward to a shower soon!!!

    April 28, 2013

  • Brett

    Wow! Would love to go on this one, but getting a tatt today, so prolly not a good mix! But next time I will be alllllll over this one, I have tons of nice camping gear too,

    Have Fun, post pix!

    Brett

    April 25, 2013

  • Aleah

    Sorry all. I am going to bail on this trip as much as I want to go. Too many things going on at work and in life, and the 10 hours in the car makes me want to go when I have at least 3-4 days to explore. Have a blast!

    April 23, 2013

  • Ross M.

    I'd like to join you! I'd prefer to drive. I have a Subaru Outback, which should take the dirt roads just fine and gets good mileage.

    April 16, 2013

  • Randy from M.

    Aleah and Paula,
    I have room for the two of you and your gear. I hope to get out mid day on Friday. Let me know if you want to ride along. The comments are making me a little nervous so I might leave the travel trailer behind, but still take my truck.

    March 16, 2013

    • Randy from M.

      Paula and Aleah, I'm dropping from this trip to Chaco Canyon and am sorry that I won't be able to provide car pool. I will be attending Lake Pleasant Paddle Fest and camping Friday and Saturday nights. Your more than welcome to come camp and paddle with me.

      April 4, 2013

    • Lisa

      I will add it as an event and add you as the organizer and then after you fill in the details we can announce it.

      April 4, 2013

  • Lisa

    I am available any weekend evening except April 13th - what night should we meet?

    April 4, 2013

    • Lisa

      I am free Monday and Friday night next week - busy week.

      April 4, 2013

    • Brian

      Are we all free on Monday? And what part of town is everyone in? I'm in Tempe, and I remember Sarah is too.

      April 4, 2013

  • Randy from M.

    Do to the limited response on this trip, I would like to make a suggestion......

    Obviously this would be a great trip, however it's 400 miles and eight hours away. It will cost me close to $300 in fuel to run my truck there and back for a weekend camp trip.

    What would the group think of camping at Lake Pleasant instead? It's close, there are activities, and it's about "US" having fun together hiking and sitting around the camp fire.

    Lake Pleasant has PaddleFest taking place that weekend, and there will be opportunities to rent Kayaks and paddle around the lake. I have multiple Kayaks and can certainly bring them and lead a trip to Hum Bug mine. It's a six mile paddle across the lake, a five mile hike and a six mile paddle back.

    Just throwing this out there as I also have a strong interest in camping and attending paddle fest.......

    April 3, 2013

    • Lisa

      Randy if you would like to host that event at lake pleasant I can make you an organizer for just that event. Let me know.

      April 3, 2013

    • Randy from M.

      Lisa, Let me know if you are still planning on going to Chaco? I will be stepping out of this trip and will be attending the Paddle Fest. I'm willing to host the camping on Friday and Saturday night at Lake Pleasant and the Paddle & Hike to Hum Bug Mine on Saturday.

      April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I too have been interested in Chaco Canyon for a long time. I have a feeling that no matter what dates we choose for the trip, in the end people will back out because of the drive, last-minute issues, etc. If the tourist season starts next month, it seems like we'd be less likely to find first-come first-serve camp spots, and we could end up in the same boat as we're in now with not enough people for the group site. So far I know that me, Lisa, and Brian are interested in going because of the destination. I could easily fit two more in my Jeep (may be cozy in the back) and the gear, which will reduce expenses. Or if all six who rsvp'd yes are going, then it's three per car, which also cuts costs. Depending on how many are allowed in one campsite, it's possible we'd only need one total, two maximum. Just my thoughts, but it seems reasonable to keep it for this date. Randy's camping and paddling suggestion could be a go that weekend as well, for those who aren't itching to go to Chaco.

    April 3, 2013

    • Aleah

      I definitely am in!

      April 4, 2013

  • Aleah

    Hey Lisa, I definitely want to go to Chaco with those who still want to go. It actually makes more sense to get as many of us in one vehicle as posible to reduce cost and planning challenges. I have been all over the 4 Corners and have had Chaco on my list, but never had the time to go. I am totally in and would like to ride with you, if possible. I can keep my gear to a minimum, too. I think I am just going to bring my backpacking gear (smaller and lighter) and freeze dried for the 2nd night so we don't have 50 coolers to haul. Count me in! I can sleep under the stars on a pad, too. I seriously am an wilderness gal and can roll with whatever. I will volunteer some time to scout out possible dispersed camping options, should we end up having to sleep somewhere outside of the park --back toward national forest and blm land. We could even take the back roads back home on sunday, down through luna, alpine, etc... either way, it will be fun.

    April 4, 2013

  • Lisa

    If it is just the 3 of us then us girls could be in a tent and Brian would be in a second tent and we would only need one camp site.

    April 3, 2013

    • Brian

      Yes, and we'd be down to 1 car too. Not to scare/discourage anyone, but this trip will be kind of a logistical challenge, much more so than a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, so it's probably best if we start planning asap. There's the long drive, the bumpy road, and then there is no food inside the park, though there is water, and the closest food is an hour away. Daytime temps will be about 70ish, but overnight will be in the 40s. Also, I guess weather is less predictable than here, so you never know, it might rain. So unless you've really been wanting to wander through some ancestral Pueblan ruins for years like the three of us apparently have, it might be a bit much for a weekend outing. The entire hassle factor is probably why none of us have actually made it out there before.

      April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    @Randy--I love the idea of a paddle and hike trip! I'd be interested in doing that sometime, even if it won't be paddlefest. Our group did a great trip to Bartlett Lake over the weekend and there is an island you can camp on--I'd be interested in paddling to it and spending the night as another trip option. So if you want to plan something like that in the near future, I'd be happy to help in any way I can. Great suggestion!

    April 3, 2013

  • Lisa

    Planning event for an evening or weekend?

    April 3, 2013

    • Brian

      Either one, but I like weekends better.

      April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a two-person tent, but most of my gear is for backpacking rather than car camping. My stove would work but is not ideal. I have plenty of extra sleeping pads for anyone who needs, but I don't have the cushy stuff like chairs, lanterns, big water container, etc. I agree with Brian, let's try to meet and plan some of the logistics.

    April 3, 2013

  • Lisa

    No it is not too early but I am going to have to cancel the camping reservation because we don't have more than 10 people. Do we want to try to schedule a meetup or just plan through comments? They never got back to me about Friday either.

    I am borrowing camping supplies from my brother so I don't know what I have just yet.

    April 2, 2013

    • Brian

      I think it makes sense to schedule a meetup, even if everyone can't make it. We can post the notes from it here afterwards.

      April 3, 2013

  • Brian

    Is it too early to start planning details for those of us still in?

    Randy, Lisa, and Sarah have cars with adequate ground clearance, so it seems we're all set for transportation. How many tents/stoves, misc other gear do we have? I have pretty much everything (propane stove, sleeping bag, cooler, 2-person-socially-awkward-tent-that's-really-designed-for-one, camp lantern, water carrier) etc.

    April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry something came up!

    March 21, 2013

  • Lisa

    Well we need 11 to reserve group camping. I am assuming we have no kids because they want to know if there are kids. I hope 3 more sign up before the event so I am not a lier. I will call today and say 11 people with no kids and no more than 5 cars. If 3 more sign up we would likely have 4 cars.

    March 21, 2013

  • Brian

    Btw, if anyone wants to read the silly, yet entertaining book that got me interested in Chaco Canyon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Thunderhead-Douglas-Preston/dp/0446608378

    It's a pulpy horror novel, but based on the ancestral Pueblan legends of Chaco Canyon.

    March 18, 2013

  • Lisa

    Still need at least 3 to reserve the group camp site.

    March 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd like to go on Friday if possible. I can drive my Jeep or ride with someone, depending on how many cars we need. Clearance won't be an issue in my car.

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I also like the extra day option.

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    My car is a Kia Rio. I have a lot of space in the trunk for the gear. I have never been to NM but it sounds like my car wouldn't make clearance wise. Are there a lot of hills or something? I am more than happy to share in the expense if my car isn't going to work.

    March 16, 2013

  • Aleah

    I am into the idea of having an extra day, since it's a bit of a drive and I have never been there. I'd love to catch a ride, but definitely will drive if need be. I am a travel-light type person.

    March 16, 2013

  • Randy from M.

    I'll be driving my Ford F550 Dually and will have room for others, along with their gear.

    March 15, 2013

  • Lisa

    I have an all wheel drive Hyundai Tucson and can take 4 others. Higher clearance than passenger cars.

    March 15, 2013

  • Brian

    I will be happy to carpool, as my car gets great mileage, but I'm not sure it has enough ground clearance. Someone with a Honda Fit told me she drove out there fine and hesitantly told me I'd be fine too, if I went really, really slowly.

    March 15, 2013

  • Randy from M.

    And I will leave Friday afternoon........

    March 15, 2013

  • Randy from M.

    I will bring my Travel Trailer......I will probaly need to reserve my own campsite unless the group site is large enough for all vehicles and a travel trailer?

    March 15, 2013

  • Brian

    Lack of schedule conflicts pending. Been trying to get out there for years!

    March 15, 2013

  • Lisa

    Group camp site may be out - they are very restrictive. Sending out an e-mail to the group. Betsy, Chaco Canyon is Native American Indian ruins.

    March 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it possible for me to tag along since I do not have a vehicle? I am willing to split money for the gas and other expenses.

    March 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in, and would definitely prefer to leave Friday so we can have more time there.

    March 6, 2013

  • Aleah

    I would like to go and carpool with someone who gets better mileage than I do. I would also be cool with leaving Friday morning so we have a longer amount of time to explore.

    March 6, 2013

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