National Park Service

Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN)

Chaco Culture National Historical Park (CHCU)

Riparian corridor<br/>(SCPN photo)  Vegetation inventory and mapping<br/>(SCPN photo) Canyon vegetation<br/>(SCPN photo) Pictographs of hands near Gambler Spring<br/>(SCPN photo) The Supernova pictograph site with cliff swallow nests<br/>(SCPN photo) Fossils near Wijiji Pueblo<br/>(SCPN photo) Fajada Butte<br/>(SCPN photo) Desert grasslands<br/>(SCPN photo) Pueblo Bonito<br/>(SCPN photo) Kivas at Pueblo Bonito<br/>(SCPN photo) Pueblo doorway<br/>(SCPN photo) Pueblo del Arroyo<br/>(SCPN photo) Looking up-canyon over Pueblo del Arroyo<br/>(SCPN photo) Prehistoric steps carved into a sandstone wall<br/>(SCPN photo) Chaco Canyon near Wijiji<br/>(SCPN photo)

Inventory Reports

Monitoring Project Summaries

Monitoring Reports

Monitoring Protocol Documents

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Park Flora (SEINet)
NPS Logo Official Chaco Culture NHP Website
SCPN park map
Location of Chaco Culture NHP in the Southern Colorado Plateau Network. Click for larger image.

Chaco Culture National Historical Park, encompasses about 34,000 acres in the San Juan Basin region of northwestern New Mexico. Originally designated as a national monument in 1907 to preserve the remains of the prehistoric Chacoan culture, the park was expanded in 1980 and its status changed to a national historical park.

Chaco Culture NHP is of national and international significance because it contains approximately 4000 prehistoric and historic archeological sites representative of Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Pueblo, and Navajo occupations. The park is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.

Chaco Culture NHP contains three prominent land forms:

  1. the alluvium-filled valley floor of Chaco Canyon, with its prominent drainage features;
  2. expansive sandstone mesas, topped by slickrock outcrops and gently rolling hills; and
  3. a number of smaller side canyons (including box-canyons locally known as "rincons") eroded into the sandstone faces adjacent to the main canyon floor.

Nine vegetation types have been documented in Chaco, including pinyon-juniper woodland, grassland, and integrated riparian vegetation. The park supports 4 species of amphibians, 127 species of birds, 41 species of mammals, 14 species of reptiles, and 27 species of invertebrates. Water resources in the park include a high water table, an intermittently flowing stream, several seeps and pools.

The Southern Colorado Plateau Network monitors upland vegetation and soils, integrated riparian communities, and springs at Chaco Culture NHP.

Life Zones of Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture NHP ranges in elevation from 6,009-6,875 feet (1,832-2,096 m) and spans the the Semi-Desert Grassland/Shrub Steppe and the Pinyon-Juniper Woodland life zones. It experiences an average annual precipitation of 8.9 inches (225 mm).

Chaco Culture Life Zones

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Last Updated: January 23, 2018 Contact Webmaster