Hiking Club sponsors May volunteer trip to Chaco Canyon

Sue Bush

Have you ever wondered about exploring the magnificent ancient pueblos of the Southwest? You will have the chance this May when the Saddlebrooke Hiking Club sponsors a five-day volunteer trip to Chaco Culture National Historic Park (Chaco Canyon) from May 13-17.

Located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States Park that contains some of the most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. With the largest collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of the country’s most important Pre-Columbian cultural and historic areas. Between A.D. 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major cultural center for the ancient pueblo peoples. The Hopi and Pueblo people consider this UNESCO World Heritage Site to be their sacred ancestral homeland.

The five-day trip to Chaco Canyon will include working as a volunteer for a day and a half and a day and a half day exploring the ancient ruins. Hopefully, the Park Service will provide a presentation and possibly access to areas off limits to the general public. Volunteer work performed will be determined by the needs of the Park Service. Similar projects in the past have included trail maintenance, campground maintenance and vegetation removal from pueblo sites. All ability levels can be accommodated.

The group will leave Saddlebrooke on May 13 and return on May 17. Lodging will be at the Park’s VIP Camp Area, which has shower/toilet facilities and can accommodate travel trailers up to 30 feet. Travel time from SaddleBrooke to the park is about eight hours and driving distance is 425 miles. The volunteer team is limited to 12. Please contact coordinators Ray Peale ([email protected]) or Mike Wolters ([email protected]) if you would like to join this special trip.