Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gallo Alcove Ruins at Chaco Canyon

The Gallo Alcove Ruins are located in the campground at Chaco Canyon National Monument in northwest New Mexico. Chaco is known for the very large Great Houses, but it also has an example of the smaller alcove type structures that are often found in the Canyons of the Ancients and the Cedar Mesa area of southeast Utah.

These two side by side sites are probably not noticed by visitors not staying in the campground, though they are visible along the road on the way in. There isn't a trail to follow except to make your way across the campground.

These small sites were occupied at the same time that the Great Houses were in use and might be typical of how the average members of the farming community lived. I noticed at least two more small ruins along the road leading to the Visitor Center, but no attention is called to these sites.

In the vicinity of the small ruins and the Gallo campground, there are several petroglyph panels. The campground panels are mostly examples of ones that have been damaged by visitors. There are some interpretive signs that display how the panels are supposed to appear compared to how they actually appear.

The Gallo campground also has a 1.5 mile trail that doesn't appear on the park map. It  leads to a lookout point above the east part of Chaco Canyon.

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