Aztec Ruins National Monument

The Aztec Ruins National Monument is an archaeological site located on the Animas River near the banks of the "River of Lost Souls" 2 miles north of Aztec, New Mexico and is a favorite among things to do in the area. No photos or descriptions truly do the Aztec Ruins National Monument true justice. Originally these ruins were thought to be relics of the great 15th century central Mexican civilization by early white settlers. The Aztec Ruins National Monument is a preservation of structures and artifacts created and left by the ancient Pueblo people with buildings dating back to the 1200's .Lodging isn't available to visitors in the park but the nearby cities of Farmington and Aztec New Mexico offer lodging and dining.

A self-guided tour along the 1/2 mile trail through the West Ruins is a must. These ruins near Aztec New Mexico contain 450 interconnected rooms built from stone and mud. There are rooms that still house original roofs and are fascinating to see and begin to unravel some of the history behind the monument. Some of the Kivas which were complexes built for communal activities are surprisingly still intact today. The main village is now connected to a 27 acre compound that also holds many smaller and mainly unexplored sites.

The smaller sites can be a fun side trip to do from cities nearby and don't have the crowds that can be found in the main area. The outlying area extends to the edge of the monument and includes 3 Indians arts and crafts shops that are quite popular with visitors looking to pick up a memorable souvenir or two. Designated a World Heritage site in 1987 there are picnic areas, museum exhibits, a visitor center and some of the trails are accessible by wheelchair.

Aztec New Mexico takes its name from the ancient dwellings that were once home to a thriving community. Aztec New Mexico is fairly well known for the UFO hoax which took place 12 miles northeast of Aztec and was a myth perpetuated by the Variety columnist Robert Scully. He was fooled by two con men trying to gain some exposure for themselves but eventually was so taken by the scam that he wrote a book about it.

This hoax was originally meant to get investors into the area from claims by the men that they had built a machine that would find gas and oil deposits using alien technology. The citizens of Aztec New Mexico have witnessed the UFO phenomena in Roswell turned the town into a budding tourist attraction and they wanted to follow suit so the alien rumor was revived over the years to draw attention to the small town and generate more of an income for its people.

The Aztec Ruins in New Mexico have been a long standing attraction for visitors over the years. A quaint and fairly quiet town with charming hotels, Aztec has attracted its share of attention. Aztec Ruins in New Mexico are best to visit in the Fall when the temperatures are mild and pleasant and the evenings are cool and crisp. Summer temperatures can soar between 80 and 90 degrees and even climb to 100 degrees which can make sightseeing incredibly arduous.

Spring weather is not the most predictable but it can also be a nice time to explore the Aztec Ruins in New Mexico. Sometimes it can be cold, wet and windy and other times dry and warm. Winter climate normally averages between 20 and 50 degrees and the nights can be very cold making the New Mexican kiva fireplace a very beloved invention!

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