The Hike

The hike, according to the ranger on duty during our visit, is 6.4 miles round trip. According to the park web site it is 3 miles round trip. So there you go. One thing for sure is it was mostly flat hiking on desert sand with nice places to stop and see along the way. Must-haves are a camera, water, and sunblock.

The Wijiji (Navajo for "greasewood") Trail starts out along a sandy road that first stops at the Casa Chiquita. When we visited, an archaeologist and 4 Master Masons were working on the site. As we continued down the sandy path, wildflowers bloomed everywhere. This was an exceptional year because of a lot of rain in the spring.

the path blanket, man, animal flowers on the trail

After a while, the trail leads to walls of petroglyphs. There are some very beautiful images on this wall, one of the clearer ones is of a blanket, a man, and an animal. We included more photos of the petroglyphs on our Chaco Culture Petroglyphs and Pictographs page.

After the petroglyphs, the trail is long and flat. The scenery does not change much, but eventually you can see the ruins of Peñasco Blanco in the distance. We decided as far as trails go, this trail is more notable for the places along the way than for the trail itself. That is not a bad thing, and we don't mean it in a bad way, but there is a long section in between without unique stops.

potshard supernova flowers

An offshoot of the trail close to the Peñasco Blanco was one of our favorite parts of the whole park. It leads to the Supernova pictographs which we have a photo of right above this paragraph. The pictographs are not huge, and not on a wall with a million other pictographs or petroglyphs. They stand by themselves directly overhead at the end of the spur trail. They were absolutely stunning; a special treasure for the park.

Another neat thing about the trail is that we saw a shard of pottery on the ground. It was unique to us since we have never seen something like that outside a museum, so we took a photo of it to share with everyone until they hike the trail and see it in person. Please leave it there for the next person who will find joy in its 'discovery'.

Peñasco Blanco

Peñasco Blanco is a large structure at the end of the trail. The scenery around the area is very nice and one can almost imagine what it must have been like to live there hundreds of years ago. Walking around the structure an along the path that leads inside it was a nice treat and made the area easy to explore.

The long walk back was hot and lacked shade, so we were glad we packed extra water. The return trip was a bit quicker than the hike out since we did not stop and look at everything on the way back and did not do the spur trails again. We were already looking forward to our hike up the Pueblo Alto Trail.