Chaco Canyon - El Morro - Ice Cave Road Trip 2022
Chaco Canyon - A rough road with mud from recent rains, at least the south entrance was. The north entrance is much more passable.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park - A very eerie and mystical place. This, a model of the largest pueblo, Pueblo Bonito
A map of the surrounding communities
Workers doing maintenance
They made floors by putting beams across, then mud/rocks
The largest Kiva
Some stairs at the upper level that were carved out
The Ice Cave and Bandera Crater (volcano)
A Spatter Cone - A kind of lava bubble
Along the trail to the volcano, massive lava flow that carved out the canyon
All the "hills" surrounding were volcanoes. Erupted only 10,000 years ago. Humans were in the vacinity at the time, just after the last ice age.
The volcano with the canyon it carved to the side
A lava bubble where various elements leach out. Can't see it very well, but there are different colors from different elements on the rock.
The volcano cone itself, with the canyon the lava carved going to the left
A lot of twisted, gnarly trees. The lava rocks make it hard for trees to get deep roots, resulting in twisted trees.
Remnants of ancient Indian structures
A lava flow near the ice cave
The stairs down to the ice cave. It never gets above 31 degrees down there. Above, it's in the 80s.
The winter ice/snow melt seeps down. The lava rock is very insulated, so it never really melts. The floor of the ice is 20 feet thick. The deepest, oldest ice is 3400 years old. The green tint is Arctic Ice.
It was cold down there!
El Morro - An ancient oasis that ancient Indians, the Spanish conquistadors, and early settlers all stopped at. While they were there they carved their names on the rock wall.
This is the "spring". It's not really a spring. Water from rainfall is how it fills up and stays filled.
Petroglyphs from ancient indians
Many very carefully carved out calligraphy
The most famous and oldest known date, Juan de Onate, April 16, 1605
Before heading home, we stopped at Lincoln, NM, home of the Lincoln County War, 1878, where the likes of Billy, the Kid and Pat Garrett were involved.