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 Name Phase Location Access Notes
Mesa Verde B3, P1, P2, P3 near Cortez, CO Multiple Sites, varies
Yucca House National Monument near Cortez, CO accessible by dirt road
Ute Tribal Park P3 near Cortez, CO Tours provided by Tribe
Dominguez and Escalante Pueblos The Anasazi Heritage Center, Dolores, CO Nice museum. Paved walk to ruins
Edge of the Cedars State Park near Blanding, UT Museum and short walk
Grand Gulch Primitive Area near Blanding, UT Backcountry 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 Wash B3 near Blanding, UT 1/2 mile walk from Utah 95 mile marker 111
Hovenweep National Monument

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P2, P3 near Blanding, UT well maintained trail, approx. 1 mile
Yellow Jacket P2, P3 near Pleasantville, Co variety of unexcavated sites accessble via extensive hiking
Lowry Pueblo Ruins

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P3 near Pleasant View, CO Accessible from road, short walk
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area P2, P3 near Chimney Rock, CO Guided walking tour is required to see ruins
Newspaper Rock near Monticello, UT Short walk to overlook to view rocks
Three Kiva Ruin near Moab, UT 9 miles on gravel road
Aztec Ruins

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P3 Aztec, NM Museum, easy walk
Salmon Ruins

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P3 near Bloomfield, NM Museum, easy walk

Kayenta Region

Northern Arizona and Western New Mexico

Place Name Phase Location Access Notes
Canyon de Chelly
Antelope House,
White House,
Mummy Cave
P3 Requires 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
P3 near Kayenta, AZ  Requires Indian Guid
Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, AZ  Easy walk from road

Chaco Canyon Region

South of Farmington New Mexico

Place Name Phase Location Access Notes
Chaco Canyon

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P1, P2, P3 50 miles south of Farmington, NM About 13 miles of dirt road, then easy walks from road for most sites

Little Colorado River (aka Cibola Region)

Around Winslow AZ
Place Name Phase Location Access Notes
El Morro National Monument and Inscription Rock east 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 Name Phase Location Access Notes
Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos  various sites.
Coronado State Monument near Bernalillo
Pecos National Monument near Santa Fe
Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque
Puye Cliff Dwellings near Española
Salinas Pueblo Missions near Mountainair