There were many reasons for our trip to the Four Corners region this year and, given the beauty of the Southwest, many different places to see.  However, one of the reasons for going to this area, and the main reason we bought the Jayco pop-up camper, was to spend a few nights at Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.  

That reason hinged on an off-hand comment my Mom made 30 years ago after she & my Dad took a day trip to Chaco Canyon.  After returning from that trip, she told me that it would be wonderful to see sunrise and sunset at Chaco Canyon & I asked how that could be done, to which she replied, “Oh, only by camping.  There’s nothing near it.”


When planning our trip, one of the first reservations made was for two nights at Chaco Canyon.  Upon doing research, we knew that CCNHP is about 20-miles off the state highway in northwestern New Mexico, 5-6 of those miles paved, 8-9 miles gravel & dirt, the last 4-5 miles, dirt with potholes.  Depending on when you take the road back to the Park, it can be a real shake-down cruise.  That was why we bought the pop-up; not knowing what we’d find on the road to Chaco Canyon we didn’t want to risk our well-cared-for Sunline.



Both Matthew & I were apprehensive about heading back to the Park given what we saw on the ‘net, all potholes with a road through it.  As we turned into the road leading to CCNHP there was another pop-up ahead of us being towed by a mini-van; that driver took off like a bat out of hell & was soon considerably ahead of us!  No problem there, it just meant less dust to deal with.  We figured slow-n-steady wins the race, so to speak!

Obviously, the first 5 miles being paved was no problem.  The middle section wasn’t too bad either, if you’re used to dirt & gravel roads.  Given where we live, we are.  The last 5 miles… well, we were blessed because that section had been graded about 6 weeks before we drove it so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. We did catch up to the pop-up ahead of us the last mile as he apparently decided to slow it up a bit – wise decision!


We were thrilled to check in at the Park Office with Jayco, Big Gray & us all in one piece.  My Mom confided that she was concerned about the road too, remembering how bad it was when she & my Dad came 30 years ago.  We went to the campground, checked in with the Camp Host, set up the Jayco (which didn’t take long b/c all sites are primitive) & took off for our first circuit of Chaco Canyon.  

All the pictures in this entry are from Chaco & there are more to come!