New Mexico

November 2012

If you want se see a map and more pictures of the described destinations please klick the link New Mexico to our German report or klick the link to our older reports about New Mexico.

First stop in New Mexico are the Anasazi ruins in Aztec National Monument. Here one can get a first impression of Chacoan culture, especially the reconstruction of a kiva is worth seeing. Near Aztec we also see nice, more or less unknown small arches, e.g. Pillar Arch, Outcrop Arch, Rooftop Arch.

Next we go to wilderness areas we already visited during our last trip here in the US: Bisti Wilderness and De-Na-Zin-Wilderness. While the gravel road to the Bisti area has been improved, the dirt road to the De-Na-Zin area can be impassable when wet. In both areas you find badlands, a lot of hoodoos (Bisti is full of them) and petrified wood.

The first section of the road to Chaco Culture National Historic Park is paved, then it becomes a wash-boarded dirt road (impassable when wet). The loop inside the park is paved again.

Chaco Canyon has been the center of Chacoan culture from AD 850 until about 1200. Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl are very impressive, but we also like Pueblo del Arroyo, the big kiva of Casa Rinconada, the ruins of Kin Kletso and the petroglyphs at Una Vida.

Close to Chaco Canyon (to be reached on dirt roads) we visit another wilderness area - even less known than Bisti and De-Na-Zin: Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness with its huge number of hoodoos in different colours. We have never seen as many of them before - a remarkable area.

After that we drive to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (as we did three years ago). Not all the migratory birds have arrived yet, but some thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes are already there. We also see Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Great Blue Herons, a Bald Eagle, Mule Deer, turtles.

It is extremely impressive when great flocks of snow geese take to the air honking like mad, fly over your head and after some time they return.

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