New Mexico November 07, 2019
Explore The Ruins Of A 400-Room Ancient Village At Aztec Ruins National Monument In New Mexico
History is everywhere you step in the Southwest but some spots contain more history than others. If you’re hoping to walk through a location that feels older than time itself, then you may enjoy roaming the grounds of New Mexico’s fascinating ancient sites. Let’s take a look at one location that sometimes gets overlooked.
This is Aztec Ruins National Monument, an expansive ancient Puebloan site that is approximately 900 years old.
The name is a misnomer. American settlers who came across this and other similar relics assumed it was part of the Aztec Empire, thus referring to it as Aztec Ruins. The name stuck even though it became evident the ancestors of modern Pueblo people constructed these buildings.
The monument is composed of several timeworn buildings dating back to the 1100s and strewn across more than 300 acres.
The main attraction here is the West Ruins, a 400-room structure that is estimated to have stood three-stories tall and housed upwards of 300 people.
You are able to explore parts of the ruins by strolling up stairways, hunching through doorways, and searching for lingering fingerprints in mortar.
Within the ruin sits several kivas, a subterranean room used by ancient and modern Puebloans for religious and political meetings. The largest at Aztec Ruins is simply referred to as the Great Kiva.
The kiva was reconstructed by archaeologists and measures 40 feet in diameter, making it the largest such kiva. You can walk down into the kiva to get a glimpse of what such an experience may have been like.
In addition to trekking the trails around the ruins, you can also take part in a variety of special events here. For example, in the summer months, the monument hosts evening tours where you can learn about astronomy.
They also host cultural demonstrations, presentations, and lectures from local tribes and community members.
Aztec Ruins National Monument is located in Aztec, about 15 miles northeast of Farmington.
The monument is open daily and hours vary based on the season. You can find details about hours, special events, and more by visiting the
national park website
. or their
725 Ruins Rd, Aztec, NM 87410
Website: National Parks website
Phone: (505) 334-6174
Have you had a chance to visit this national monument? We would love to hear your experience and what struck you most about the ruins here.
If you want to visit another incredible example of architecture created by New Mexico’s first residents, you may be interested in checking out Salinas Pueblo Mission National Monument. Read more in
You Must Add These Magnificent Ruins To Your New Mexico Bucket List.
Address: 725 Ruins Rd, Aztec, NM 87410, USA