Chaco Culture National Historical Park – New Mexico

Pueblo Bonito Ruins

Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Nageezi, NM

http://www.nps.gov/chcu

Junior Ranger – Senior Friendly

Completed: September 18, 2014

This is not an easy park site to get to, you have to want to get here! I did, my last visit was in 1988. On this trip it was planned to camp there two nights. On the afternoon we arrived I went to the visitor center and asked for the Junior Ranger booklet. I was pleased to see at the top of the cover (at any age), this qualifies as Senior Friendly.

Activities include: Protect Our Park, Environment, Canyon Geology, Archaeology, Archaeoastronomy, Dendrochronolgy, People Today, Chaco at the Center, A Long History, More Recent History, Then and Now, What do you Think?, Crossword:The Ultimate a Challenge!, and Junior Ranger Pledge. To help complete the activities at the time you pick up the Junior Ranger Booklet you are given a booklet titled “A Kid’s Guide to Exploring Chaco Culture NHP “, a handout titled ” A Brief History of Chaco Culture NHP” and the park brochure. All were useful in completing the booklet.

Junior Ranger materials

The activity I enjoyed the most was the crossword puzzle as it put to use all of the knowledge I learned while visiting Chaco. I also enjoyed filling in the blanks on the More Recent History page, using the handout I was given about the history of Chaco. A couple of activities had you write your reaction to a question or comment which I always appreciate as it makes you think about your experience there and sometimes a connection to the outer world.

While there I did attend the Ranger-led walk of Bonito Pueblo Ruins. The ranger gave lots of information as we walked through the site. There was a lot of bending down and through very short doors. At one point we were in a room with an original ceiling. The ranger made the point that once you start exploring Chaco Culture NHP you have many more questions than answers!

Pueblo Bonito
Fine masonry walls

View through window

After the walk I stopped back at the visitor center and had my booklet reviewed. I also had completed the Night Explorer booklet so the ranger combined the pledges.

Junior Ranger booklet & badge

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