Fall is a season of transition in the National Park System, from long, hot days with crowded roads and trails, to cooler, crisper weather that beckons you to make a few more trips before winter sets in. Here is the first of four suggestions to jump on now, or to add to your to-do list.
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Aztec has nothing to do with the Aztecs of Mexico and Central America. But it does have everything to do with Ancestral Puebloans. It may be one of many places people from Chaco moved to when Chaco was abandoned. Occupation here began in about the late 1000's and flourished until around 1130. By the late 1200's, this settlement was abandoned as so many others had been. As is the case elsewhere, no one knows why.
Holiday events, and concerns over light pollution from solar power projects, are among the news flowing from around the National Park System.
The arrival of the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, will be marked at Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico with a special luminaria event involving 2,000 glowing luminaria.
The answers to "What do you want for Christmas?" can include some pretty unusual items, but for the staff at Aztec Ruins National Monument their wish was pretty simple: they just wanted an official entrance sign. It's taken nearly 90 years, but their wish has finally come true, and the new sign is unique indeed.
Candles will be flickering December 21 at Aztec Ruins National Monument when the park staff hosts a luminaria display with its Evening of Lights event.
Take this week’s quiz and find out if you’re up to snuff on national park names. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you say Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau over and over until you can pronounce it correctly.
Aztec Ruins and the River of Lost Souls may sound like a title for the next Indiana Jones movie, but these are real places that you can visit—and you won't even need a passport or a hyper-active spirit of adventure. One small disclaimer is in order: The Aztecs had no connection with these impressive remains of a long-departed civilization.