Aztec Ruins National Monument

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Aztec Ruins National Monument
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Aztec Ruins National Monument by RO.JPG
Aztec Ruins National Monument NPS site map.jpg
Location San Juan County, New Mexico, U.S.
Nearest city Aztec
Coordinates 36°50′09″N 107°59′53″W / 36.8358370°N 107.9981235°W / 36.8358370; -107.9981235Coordinates: 36°50′09″N 107°59′53″W / 36.8358370°N 107.9981235°W / 36.8358370; -107.9981235[1]
Area 318 acres (129 ha)[2]
Created January 24, 1923 (1923-Jan-24)
Visitors 41,106 (in 2011)[3]
Governing body National Park Service
Website Aztec Ruins National Monument
Part of Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Type U.S. historic district
Designated October 18, 1966
Reference no. 66000484[4]
Designated May 21, 1971
Reference no. 55

The Aztec Ruins National Monument preserves Ancestral Puebloan structures in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of New Mexico. This national monument is close to both the town of Aztec and the Animas River, and it is about 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The Salmon Ruins and Heritage Park, which also has Puebloan structures, is about 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of the monument. The Aztec ruins date from the 11th to the 13th centuries. American settlers in the 19th century named them the "Aztec ruins" based on their erroneous belief that the Aztec civilization built them.[citation needed]

The site was declared "Aztec Ruin National Monument" on January 24, 1923. After a boundary change, "Ruin" was changed to "Ruins" on July 2, 1928.

As a historical property of the National Park Service, the monument was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization listed the Chaco Culture as a World Heritage Site on December 8, 1987. That listing specifically included the Aztec ruins.[5]

The monument is on the Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway, which is one of New Mexico's Scenic Byways.[6]

A color panorama of a large sandstone ruin
Aztec West, with reconstructed great kiva (right)
Aztec West. Overview of Chacoan structure, with Hubbard Mound at lower left.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aztec Ruins National Monument". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved March 18, 2012. 
  4. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  5. ^ "World Heritage List: Chaco Culture". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved December 31, 2017. 
  6. ^ Trail of the Ancients. Archived August 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. New Mexico Tourism Department. Retrieved August 14, 2014.

External links[edit]