The Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided this itinerary for the Indian Country in New Mexico.
From Albuquerque, travel north on Hwy 550 towards Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Be prepared to drive an additional 16 miles on dirt roads after turning at County Road 7900/7950. Chaco Canyon was once the dwelling place of Ancestral Puebloans and has been designated a World Heritage Site. Thirteen major ruins now dominate the canyon floor, many containing kivas believed to have religious significance. The surrounding network of arrow-straight roads was the production of relatively sophisticated engineering and has impressed even veteran archaeologists. These recent discoveries have generated a new scientific field of research – archaeoastronomy – and earned Chaco the nickname Stonehenge of the Southwest. No services or facilities are available so bring water, food and other necessities. From there continue north on Hwy 550 and then west on Hwy 64 to Farmington, the city the Navajo call Totah, “the meeting place of the waters”.
Travel east on Hwy 516 to Aztec (14 miles) to tour Aztec Ruins National Monument, a Puebloan Ruin over 800 years old. It features the only fully reconstructed Great Kiva in the southwest. Travel back to Farmington and spend the afternoon shopping at several trading posts in the area which offer extensive Native American arts and crafts. That night enjoy a relaxing evening of Outdoor Summer Theater in a natural sandstone amphitheater. Performances run mid-June through the first weekend in August, Thursday – Sunday. An optional dinner is served before the show begins. Group rates are available. Call 800-448-1240 for more information.
Travel 130 miles south on Hwy 491 to Gallup, featuring nightly Indian dances (end of May through first of September), Intertribal Indian Ceremonial, Native American arts and crafts, Navajo Code Talkers Museum and trading posts. Area attractions include: Zuni Pueblo, El Morro National Park, Hubbell’s Trading Post and Canyon de Chelley National Monument.
Grants, 70 miles east on I-40, is a hub for attractions including the New Mexico Museum of Mining, El Malpais National Monument, Ice Caves and Bandera Crater, Acoma Pueblo – Sky City, La Ventana Arch and Crownpoint (home of the Crownpoint Rug Weavers Association’s monthly Navajo Rug Auction. The New Mexico Mining Museum is the only Uranium Mining Museum in the world. Acoma received the name “Sky City” by being perched atop a 70-acre sandstone mesa rising 367 feet above the valley floor. Acoma continues to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in the United States.
Return to Albuquerque, 65 miles east, via I-40.