Simply referred to as “Chaco” among archaeologists, in an isolated portion of NW New Mexico, it is officially Chaco Culture national Historic Park and is maintained by the National Park Service. It is also a World Heritage Site. It’s not near any main roads and it takes a couple of hours to get there from the nearest pavement. It is a broad, high desert valley with a generally dry wash (Chaco Wash) running its length. What Chaco DOES have, is some of the most extensive and well-preserved ruins in the Southwest, built from about the eleventh to the mid-thirteenth century. an Ancient Puebloan (Anasazi) culture thrived here and built some of the Southwest’s most impressive ancient architecture. One of the unique elements of Chaco is the roadway system that was built out from here, in all directions. Though they had no horses or carts and only travelled by foot, they created straight, broad, thirty foot wide roadways that extended a hundred miles or more in each direction. There is much debate about who they were exactly and why they built something so impressive in such a remote location. Unlike similar smaller sites near large rivers and streams to the north, Chaco was likely dependent on a much more sporadic water supply. It is truly amazing to see these numerous structures that were built by hand hundreds of years ago.