Aztec, New Mexico

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Aztec, New Mexico
County Seat
Aztec Public Library (2008)
Aztec Public Library (2008)
City of Aztec.jpg
Location within San Juan County and New Mexico
Location within San Juan County and New Mexico
Coordinates: 36°49′20″N 107°59′34″W / 36.82222°N 107.99278°W / 36.82222; -107.99278Coordinates: 36°49′20″N 107°59′34″W / 36.82222°N 107.99278°W / 36.82222; -107.99278[1]
Country United States
State New Mexico
County San Juan
 • Total 13.1 sq mi (34 km2)
 • Land 13 sq mi (30 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation[1] 5,646 ft (1,721 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 6,763
 • Estimate (2015)[3] 6,147
 • Density 520/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zone Mountain (MST) (UTC-7)
 • Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 87410
Area code 505
FIPS code 35-05780 [1]
GNIS ID 0898624 [1]

Aztec (Navajo: Kinteel) is a city and county seat of San Juan County, New Mexico, United States.[1][4] As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,763. The Aztec Ruins National Monument is located on the north side of the city.


Aztec is located at 36°49′20″N 107°59′34″W / 36.82222°N 107.99278°W / 36.82222; -107.99278 (36.8222261, -107.9928455).[1][5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.1 square miles (34 km2), of which, 13.0 square miles (34 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.8%) is water.


  • Yearly Temperature (Average): High 68/ Low 36 [6]
  • Winter Temperature (January): High 44/ Low 18 [6]
  • Summer Temperature (July): High 91 / Low 58 [6]
  • Annual Precipitation (Average): 10.82 inches [6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 509
1920 489 −3.9%
1930 740 51.3%
1940 756 2.2%
1950 885 17.1%
1960 4,137 367.5%
1970 3,354 −18.9%
1980 5,512 64.3%
1990 5,479 −0.6%
2000 6,378 16.4%
2010 6,763 6.0%
Est. 2015 6,147 [3] −9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

Aztec is part of the Farmington, New Mexico Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 6,763 people, 2,578households in the city.[citation needed] The population density was 539.8 people per square mile (253.1/km²).[citation needed] There were 2,892 housing units at an average density of 230.8 per square mile (101.0/km²).[citation needed] The racial makeup of the city was 78.1% White, 0.4% African American, 8.9% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 23.7% Pacific Islander, 7.53% from other races, and 3.29% from two or more races.[citation needed]

There were 2,578 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them.[citation needed] The average household size was 2.49.[citation needed]

The median income for a household in the city was USD $41,414. The per capita income for the city was $22,779.[citation needed] About 15.2% of families were below the poverty line.[citation needed]

Parks and recreation[edit]

The City of Aztec has 10 parks for an approximate total of 132 acres.

  • Riverside Park (Community Park, 30.6 acre)
  • Tiger Park (Community Park, 18.9 acre)
  • Minium Park (Community Park 3.9 acre)
  • Hartman Park (Sports Complex 27.8 acre)
  • Cap Walls Park (Neighborhood Park 1.7 acre)
  • Florence Park (Neighborhood Park 2.7 acre)
  • Kokopelli Park (Neighborhood Park 0.6 acre)
  • Main Avenue Courtyard (Downtown Park 0.2 acre)
  • Swire-Townsend Refuge (Conservancy Area, 41.8 acre)
  • Rio Animas Park (Conservancy Area 3.8 acre)

In addition, there are over 16.5 miles (26.5 km) of trails established. Trail surfaces vary from concrete sidewalks to wood mulch, gravel and earthen construction.


The City of Aztec practices a Commission-Manager form of government as established in the New Mexico state statutes. The five commissioners are elected at large. The Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem are elected among the five commissioners.


Aztec Municipal Schools serves the City of Aztec and rural areas in northeastern San Juan County.


Aztec Ruins National Monument[edit]

Located within the city limits of Aztec, the Aztec Ruins National Monument is a UNESCO World Heritage site managed by the National Park Service. Visitors are allowed to take a self-guided tour through the ruins of the main roomblock and restored Great Kiva. The Ruins also offers special events and tours throughout the year.

Dinetah Pueblitos[edit]

Crow Canyon Pueblito Ruin

For the more remote and off the beaten path archaeological experience, the cultural buff can explore several canyon and mesa areas which were the ancestral homelands of the Navajo people. Navajo pueblitos (also known as Dinetah Pueblitos) refer to the defensive sites along canyon rims and outcrops that the Navajo people occupied in this region during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Many of the sites are located on Bureau of Land Management lands and require four-wheel drive and high clearance vehicles to access. Roads are often not passable when wet.

Aztec Arches[edit]

Cox Canyon Arch with Moon Rising

East and north of Aztec on public lands managed by the BLM are over 300 natural windows and arches. Many of these natural arches are small “windows”, but there are a number of arches large enough to walk below. Over 26 canyons have been inventoried for arches and hoodoos.

Alien Run Mountain Bike Trail[edit]

Mountain biking is very popular in San Juan County, New Mexico. Aztec has over 30 miles of trails of which the most popular is the Alien Run Trail. The trail is located on BLM lands and consists of a short loop (6.1 mi easy-moderate), long loop (additional 3.4 mi moderate) and the outer limits loop (6.7 mi difficult).

Angel Peak Scenic Area[edit]

Angel Peak Scenic Area

More public lands administered by the BLM, the Angel Peak Scenic Area offers a more colorful badlands and canyon landscape in contrast to the Bisti or Lybrook badlands. Three picnic areas and one campground with nine tent sites is available on a first come first serve basis.

Bisti /De-Na-Zin Wilderness[edit]

Bisti Wilderness Bisti Arch (aka Dragon's Head)

The Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness is public land managed by the BLM. Originally formed through the deposition of sediments from an ancient sea and river deltas millions of years ago, subsequent millions of years of erosion has carved out strange land forms, hoodoos and has exposed lots of petrified logs and stumps. It is also famous for several major dinosaur finds including “Spike” the Pentaceratops and "the Bisti Beast" a Bistahieversornow Tyrannosaur on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The western portion of this wilderness is known as the Bisti while the eastern portion is known as the De-Na-Zin. Each area offers slightly different geological deposits and land formations. Evening photography is the best as the sunsets provide a blazing palette of oranges and reds.

Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area[edit]

Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Hoodoo

Similar to the Bisti, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness Study Area is located between the Bisti /De-Na-Zin Wilderness and Chaco Canyon. Also managed by the BLM, this area formed in similar fashion as the Bisti. However this region has more multi-colored sandstone deposits, strange hoodoos, petrified wood, and dinosaur bones. One of the first Pentaceratops was collected from here by Charles Sternberg.

Lybrook Badlands[edit]

West approach to Hoodooville in the Lybrook Badlands. The Sentinel Hoodoo stands point to Hoodooville

Yet another area managed by the BLM, this area was formed about the same time as the Bisti and Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. This region offers a uniquely different scale of landscape. Hoodoos in this region are massive and the terrain much greater in elevation differences, thereby exposing a greater geological time frame than the Bisti or Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah. This region is a bit more accessible due to oil field roads traversing the region. However, extreme caution is required when driving on as these roads as they are impassible when wet.

Notable people[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Aztec, New Mexico; United States Geological Survey (USGS); November 13, 1980.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2014-12-07. 
  3. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Climate Aztec - New Mexico". U.S. Climate Data. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]