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Aztec Ruins National Monument - Aztec, New Mexico

A Remarkable Place In History
I do recommend Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec, New Mexico. The fascinating ruins are laid out on a few acres. It's a "must visit" for those who love Native American culture and history. What touched me the most -- what inspired me -- was the idea that any person or culture could "leave their mark" that people would see 800 to 900 years later. Maybe I'm crazy, but it would be a dream if others were still reading my bike across America memoir, Under a Triumphant Sky, centuries after I'm gone. :)

Anyway, if you happen to be in northwest New Mexico, you can be assured Aztec Ruins National Monument is no tourist trap. I think you'll have an enjoyable time, and I'll be so bold to say that personally, I liked this place more than Mesa Verde National Park.

Me among the ruins.

Photos and write-up by Steve Garufi in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

Aerial Photo


June 12, 2015 - The brochure has an aerial view of the Aztec Ruins. It really is sizable, and you need to remember that what remains are just the first floors. It's estimated the pueblo structures were three to four stories high.
Bricks that remain.
Aztec Ruins National Monument

Aztec Ruins N.M.

Some kind of tower toward the back?

Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM There is one section where you can walk inside the ruins, as the ceiling is still in tact. Many have windows to other rooms.
Aztec Ruins Archaeologist Ceiling I encountered this friendly guy, a staff archaeologist who explained that the ceiling was built with lumber and yucca that's still going strong after 800 years!

The national park service has done renovations -- adding lights, huge beams and other subtle things to maintain the longevity of the ruins. It's a remarkable site.

Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM One of the rooms in the corner.
Kiva There is a kiva. This has largely been rebuilt on the site of an old one. I sat there for about ten minutes, just relaxing and thinking about life. It was special.
Aztec Ruins, New Mexico The outside of the kiva.
Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM Brick ruins.

It's not much, but here are some of my Native American pages:
  • Sego Canyon Petroglyphs (Utah)
  • Black Canyon Petroglyphs (Utah)
  • El Morro National Monument (Site of Atsinna Pueblo Ruins)
  • My Tipi (Had one from 1999-2002)
  • I'm not sure what was done in those large circular things. Pretty interesting, though.


    My camera was having trouble, so no videos from me. However, the NPS promo is pretty good.

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