Canyon Observation Seasons & Alignments Time References Webcast

Tour the alignments:

Fajada Butte
Piedra del Sol
Cardinal Directions
Casa Rinconada
Pueblo Bonito

Cardinal Directions

Many of the structures at Chaco Canyon are aligned with the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. A prominent example is the Great North Road, an ancient Chacoan road extending thirty-five miles north of Chaco Canyon.

Described as "overbuilt and underused," speculations abound about the purpose of the thirty-foot-wide roadway. Some argue that the road was more ceremonial than functional, a reflection of Puebloan beliefs about the origins of their existence.

Aspects of the road point to its symbolic (as opposed to functional) value. In some areas, the road splits into four parallel segments. Meanwhile, it travels doggedly north without regard to the landscape, even scaling vertical cliffs.


<-- previous
| next -->