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18 Great Aztec Ruins Boondocking and Camping Locations

In Arizona Dispersed Camping, Docking by admin-BdLsLeave a Comment

Aztec Ruins boondocking is fairly easy to find and really close to the actual monument.  Exploring the ancient Aztec Ruins of the ancestral Pueblo people was so interesting.  Ir really put how our life now is into perspective.

Aztec Ruins Boondocking

Nearby Attractions to Aztec Ruins National Monument

The Aztec Ruins National Monument structures are the centerpiece of any excursion. Experience the Great House and particular areas at your own leisure with the self-guided walk. Take one of the ranger-led excursions if you want to learn more about the house’s past. The Great Kiva, a circular space partially submerged in the ground, is an intriguing opportunity to observe how the ruins would have appeared 900 years ago.

1. Visit the home of the original archaeologist.

The visitor center at Aztec Ruins National Monument was once the home of Earl Morris, one of the first archaeologists to dig at the site. He started excavating Aztec Ruins in 1916, working for the American Museum of Natural History. By then, much of the site had been repeatedly looted and many of the artifacts lost or destroyed. He found most of the cultural material in sealed-off rooms, where looters couldn’t get to them.

Earl Morris, among the first archaeologists to excavate at the site, lived in the welcome center at Aztec Ruins National Monument. In 1916, he began digging Aztec ruins for the American Museum of Natural History. Most of the area had been robbed previously, and some of the items had been damaged or lost. He discovered most of the cultural items in locked compartments out of reach of robbers.

2. Take a stroll through the Heritage Garden

Begin at the camp ground and go via the Native Plants Walk and the Heritage Garden. The Native Plants Walk teaches visitors more about native plants that have sustained people in the Southwest for millennia. The Heritage Garden features flora that ancient people knew how to grow. Corn, beans, squash, gourds, and sunflowers are among the ancient crops grown by museum personnel and volunteer groups.

3. Planning Your Journey

Attend when interpretative activities and activities are available. During various seasons of the year, the Aztec Ruins National Monument provides informative lectures, tours, and displays of traditional Native American dancing, art projects, and astronomical activities.

4. Complement your trip with a tour of the Four Corners region.

Aztec Ruins National Monument is a fantastic side excursion on a larger trip in the Four Corners region of the United States Southwest because it is so far away from every large city. Complement your tour of the Aztec Ruins with a trip to Chaco National Historical Park and Mesa Verde National Park to learn more about the historic people who created them. Durango is a great place to start your excursions of the area.

Although Aztec Ruins is a small site, it can be explored for several hours. Aztec Ruins is a fantastic stopover on a broader U.S. Southwest tour because it is huge, well-preserved, and simple to get there.

The Aztec Ruins National Monument: Everything You Need to Know

There are other Puebloan structures in Northwestern New Mexico that date from that very same time period as Chaco Canyon, about 850 to 1300. This well-preserved compound along the Animas River near the Colorado line is among the most famous of the group. The visitor center exhibits are highly interesting, and there is also a good film to see. Ultimately, this site provides an excellent intro to Chaco Culture and can serve as a warm-up for a visit to the much larger (but much more distant) Chaco Canyon sites.

The Aztec Ruins were part of a vast cultural and commercial network that stretched hundreds of miles in all directions, focused on Chaco Canyon. These communities were connected by 400 miles of highways, and people traded for products far as  as Central America and the Pacific Ocean. The Aztec Ruins (misnamed at one time as it was supposed that the Aztecs constructed these buildings) are the remains of the Animas River valley’s biggest Ancestral Puebloan civilization. Thousands of items, including food leftovers, tools, clothes, ceramics, and jewelry, were discovered during archaeological excavations in the early 1900s. The rebuilt huge kiva, a cylindrical subterranean space used for rituals and other purposes, is the site’s showpiece.

Geography of Aztec Ruins and Interesting Facts

One of the oldest known Ancestral Pueblo remains in the Southwest is located in the northern part of New Mexico, just north of Aztec on US 516 to Ruins Road. Original explorers wrongly recognized the architects of these sandstone pueblos, giving them the name Aztec.

The buildings here are more detailed than those maintained at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, although being smaller. The Great Kiva, a religious edifice that is the only restoration of its sort in North America, is particularly significant.

The West Ruin, the biggest of these sandstone pueblos, was completed around 1110 and included around 500 chambers, some of which are still complete. The main ruin is surrounded by several lesser constructions. Original rooftops that have existed for centuries are among the architectural highlights.

A 15-minute video provides a background and chronology, and the visitor center showcases relics discovered during digs. Memorial Day-Labor Day, 8-6 p.m.; 8-5 p.m. the rest of the year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are closed. Admission is $5 for a seven-day pass; parking is free (ages 0-15). Phone (505) 334-6174.

18 Best Aztec Ruins National Monument Free Camping Spots

1. Aztec Ruins National Monument Boondocking Locations – Less Than 6 Miles: – Alien Run

Aztec, New Mexico
GPS: 36.87804, -107.89841
Elevation: 6129′

Bureau of Land Management

The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area is Dirt. Alien Run Mountain Bike Trail consists of two looped mountain bike trails that cover over 26 miles.

Complete Site Information

 

 

2. Glade Run OHV Area

Farmington, New Mexico
GPS: 36.802763, -108.179315
Elevation: 5669′

Bureau of Land Management

The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area is Dirt and 4 miles from a paved road. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 at Glade Run OHV Area.

Complete Site Information

 

 

3. Dunes Vehicle RA

Farmington, New Mexico
GPS: 36.707255, -108.24087
Elevation: 5361′

Bureau of Land Management

Over 800 acres of fun is waiting at the The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area for off-road enthusiasts at the Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area south of Farmington.

Complete Site Information

 

4. Cottonwood Campground – Navajo Lake State Park

 

Navajo Dam, New Mexico
GPS: 36.810863, -107.676723

State Park

The road in to the The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area is Dirt and 2mi miles from a paved road. Cottonwood Campground – Navajo Lake State Park is open all year.

Complete Site Information

 

 

5. Angel Peak Scenic Area

Aztec, New Mexico
GPS: 36.545225, -107.862155
Elevation: 6643′

Bureau of Land Management (Official)

The road in is Gravel and 1-6 miles from a paved road. There are 6-15 campsites at this The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 Days at Angel Peak Scenic Area.

Complete Site Information

 

 

6. Beyond the Well

Navajo Dam, New Mexico
GPS: 36.812921, -107.543115
Elevation: 6260′

Bureau of Land Management

The road in is Dirt. Beyond the well is open Weather permitting. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 days at Beyond the well.

Complete Site Information

 

 

7. Durfield BLM Boondocking

Durango, Colorado
GPS: 37.226515, -107.695034
Elevation: 7026′

Bureau of Land Management

The road in The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area is Dirt. Durfield BLM Boondocking is open May 1 to Nov 30. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay two weeks at Durfield BLM Boondocking.

Complete Site Information

 

 

8. Cherry Creek Gravel Pit

Hesperus, Colorado
GPS: 37.328922, -108.119816
Elevation: 7989′

Forest Service

The road in is Dirt and 100 Yards miles from a paved road. Cherry Creek Gravel Pit is open Whenever not blocked by snow. There are 6-15 campsites at this The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 Days at Cherry Creek Gravel Pit.

Complete Site Information

 

 

9. Bay City Campground

Durango, Colorado
GPS: 37.360975, -108.078145
Elevation: 8734′

Forest Service

The road in is Paved. There are 1-5 campsites at this The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area location and the maximum RV length is 15 feet. You may stay 14 days at Bay City Campground.

Complete Site Information

 

 

10. Miner’s Cabin

Durango, Colorado
GPS: 37.371249, -108.07663
Elevation: 8836′

Forest Service

The road in to the Aztec Ruins boondocking area is Gravel and Six miles from a paved road. Miner’s Cabin is open Three seasons. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 35 feet. You may stay 14 days at Miner’s Cabin.

Complete Site Information

 

11. Barnes Mountain Boondock

Durango, Colorado
GPS: 37.369575, -107.899104
Elevation: 9288′

Forest Service

The road is rough but nothing serious. Because of the road, we were limited to about ten mph during the drive in and out. The views are worth the trip. Campsite was great once I found it.

Complete Site Information

 

 

Paid and Permit Camping Locations

1. Oil Road

($12 or less)

Navajo Dam, New Mexico
GPS: 36.806639, -107.535845
Elevation: 6093′

State Park

The road in is Dirt. Oil Road is open Weather permitting. There are 1-5 campsites at this Aztec Ruins boondocking location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 days at Oil Road.

Complete Site Information

 

 

2. Glade Run OHV Area

A Free PASS or PERMIT is required at this campsite.

Farmington, New Mexico
GPS: 36.802763, -108.179315
Elevation: 5669′

Bureau of Land Management

The road in is Dirt and 4 miles from a paved road. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited. You may stay 14 at Glade Run OHV Area.

Complete Site Information

 

 

3. McGee Park RV Camping

Farmington, New Mexico
GPS: 36.695402, -108.100542
Elevation: 5338′

County Park. The road in is Paved. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is unlimited.

 

 

4. Farmington Lake, New Mexico

The price is $7

Farmington, New Mexico
GPS: 36.80174, -108.10254
Elevation: 5633′

County Park

This lake is about 15 min. North of Farmington. There are about dry camping 20 RV sites at this Aztec Ruins boondocking. You can boat and swim in the lake. Fee is currently $5 per RV and $1pp.

Complete Site Information

 

 

5. Ruins Road RV Park

Aztec, New Mexico
GPS: 36.829842, -107.999183
Elevation: 5617′

Privately Owned Campground

No fire rings. No bathrooms. There is a portable bathroom that looks pretty sketchy. OK except that I prefer the grass. Convenient for the ruins but the highway noise, tractor trailers, and motorbikes was a bit to much noise for me.

Complete Site Information

 

 

6. Pine Campground – Navajo Lake State Park

Turley, New Mexico
GPS: 36.817001, -107.614197
Elevation: 6097′

Management Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road in is Paved. Pine Campground – Navajo Lake State Park is open Year-round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 51. You may stay 21 days at Pine Campground – Navajo Lake State Park

Complete Site Information

 

7. Navajo Lake State Park – Sims Mesa

Navajo Dam, New Mexico
GPS: 36.831128, -107.589659
Elevation: 6112′

Management Public – State Park (Official)

The road in is Gravel. Navajo Lake State Park – Sims Mesa is open year round. There are 30 or more campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 45 feet. You may stay 14 days at Navajo Lake State Park – Sims Mesa.

Complete Site Information

 

 

 

Other Aztec Ruins Boondocking Locations

Pine Campground Aztec Ruins National Monument
Ruins Road RV Park Aztec Ruins Monument
Farmington Lake New Mexico Camping
McGee Park RV Camping
Glade Run OHV Paid Camping
Oil Road Paid Camping Aztec Ruins Boondocking
Barnes Mountain Boondocking for Aztec Ruins
Miner’s Cabin Forest Service Boondocking Area
Bay City Campground Boondocking Area
Cherry Creek Gravel Pit Aztec Ruins Boondocking
Durfield BLM Boondocking
Beyond the Well Aztec Ruins Boondocking Site
Angel Peak Scenic Area Aztec Ruins Boondocking

 


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