Exploring the Anasazi Sites and Ancient Culture

The Ansazi culture spread over a large percentage of the Southwestern United States.  It is common to break this area up into several regions, based on cultural differences and barriers to transportation among the groups.  It is fortunate for us that these regions also work for our own travel.  We have parked our RV in the center of a region and then been able to drive to many of the other Anasazi sites in that area over a period of a few days.  The following maps and lists are broken down by those commonly used regions.

For a little background on the Anasazi culture and its rise and fall, see Touring Anasazi /Some Background Before You Go.

Northern San Juan Region

New Mexico and Colorado. Area North of the San Juan River (Farmington) and South of the San Juan Mountains.

Place NamePhaseLocationAccess Notes
Mesa VerdeB3, P1, P2, P3near Cortez, COMultiple Sites, varies
Yucca House National Monumentnear Cortez, COaccessible by dirt road
Ute Tribal ParkP3near Cortez, COTours provided by Tribe
Dominguez and Escalante PueblosThe Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores, CONice museum. Paved walk to ruins
Edge of the Cedars State Parknear Blanding, UTMuseum and short walk
Grand Gulch Primitive Areanear Blanding, UTBackcountry hiking -loop +20 miles
Natural Bridges National Monument, Horse Collar Ruin

See our blog

near Blanding, UT.6 mile (uneven) hike from loop road
Butler WashB3near Blanding, UT1/2 mile walk from Utah 95 mile marker 111
Hovenweep National Monument

See our blog

P2, P3near Blanding, UTwell maintained trail, approx. 1 mile
Yellow JacketP2, P3near Pleasantville, Covariety of unexcavated sites accessble via extensive hiking
Lowry Pueblo Ruins

See our blog

P3near Pleasant View, COAccessible from road, short walk
Chimney Rock Archaeological AreaP2, P3near Chimney Rock, COGuided walking tour is required to see ruins
Newspaper Rocknear Monticello, UTShort walk to overlook to view rocks
Three Kiva Ruinnear Moab, UT9 miles on gravel road
Aztec Ruins

See our blog

P3Aztec, NMMuseum, easy walk
Salmon Ruins

See our blog

P3near Bloomfield, NMMuseum, easy walk

Kayenta Region

Northern Arizona and Western New Mexico

Place NamePhaseLocationAccess Notes
Canyon de Chelly
Antelope House,
White House,
Mummy Cave
P3Requires Indian Guide
Holol’ovi Ruins State Park (aka Homolovi SP)near Winslow, AZ Easy walk from road
Navajo National Monument
including Betatakin,Keet Seeland Inscription House
P3near Kayenta, AZ Requires Indian Guid
Petrified Forest National Parknear Holbrook, AZ Easy walk from road


Chaco Canyon Region

South of Farmington New Mexico

Place NamePhaseLocationAccess Notes
Chaco Canyon

Our Blog

P1, P2, P350 miles south of Farmington, NMAbout 13 miles of dirt road, then easy walks from road for most sites

Little Colorado River (aka Cibola Region)

Around Winslow AZ

Place NamePhaseLocationAccess Notes
El Morro National Monument and Inscription Rockeast of Zuni, New Mexico
Ruins in and around the Zuni Pueblo and Indian Reservation
including Hawikuh, Halona (now Zuni) and Heshotauthla
 Zuni, New Mexico

Rio Grande Area

Around Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos
Place NamePhaseLocationAccess Notes
Bandelier National Monumentnear Los Alamos various sites.
Coronado State Monumentnear Bernalillo
Pecos National Monumentnear Santa Fe
Petroglyph National Monumentnear Albuquerque
Puye Cliff Dwellingsnear Española
Salinas Pueblo Missionsnear Mountainair