Kin Kletso


Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 0.8 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6108 - 6158 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Pueblo del Arroyo
Fee: $8/vehicle
Attractions: Chacoan great house, petroglyphs




View Kin Kletso in a larger map

Kin Kletso is located in the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. Kin Kletso, or 'Yellow House' in Navajo, is a medium sized Chacoan great house that was built between 1125-1130 AD. Chaco Canyon is located about 25 miles southwest of Nageezi, New Mexico. For driving directions and our take on the access road between Highway 550 and the park see the posts for Pueblo Bonito and Una Vida.


The trail begins at the Pueblo del Arroyo parking area about a half mile west of Pueblo Bonito.


It is required to stop and fill out a free backcountry permit before entering the area. One copy of the permit must be put on your dashboard and another must be carried by someone in your group.


The trail follows a hard packed service road from the parking area to the ruin.


Kin Kletso was a rectangular block consisting of about 55 rooms, 4 kivas and a 2 story cylindrical tower that may also have functioned as a kiva. You may have noticed a sign at the trailhead indicating that pets on a leash were okay. The sign is referring to the trail leading through the area and not to any of the ruins along the way. Pets are not allowed near ruins at all. Bicycles are also allowed on the road but not at the ruins.


The western wall conforms to the irregular shape of the ground much like many pueblos do at other locations.


A large boulder near the west wall displays some well worn petroglyphs.


The yellow sandstone stands in sharp contrast  to the chocolate brown color of Pueblo Bonito.


An irregular shaped hole in the wall beneath the window near the ground looks like one that may have been made by treasure hunters. Looters would often knock holes in walls to gain quick access to areas where they were accustomed to finding items like pottery.


This picture was taken from the Chacoan staircase in the cliff behind the ruin that leads up to the mesa where you can hike to the Pueblo Bonito overlook and to Pueblo Alto.



As you can see there is a sheltered picnic area located near the trailhead. The restroom in this area is near the Kin Kletso ruin with another back at the Pueblo Bonito trailhead. There are a lot of differences between the Kin Kletso great house and others in the area which makes visiting the ruin an important stop. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.