Hungo Pavi

Round Trip Distance: 0.3 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 6166 - 6214 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 20 mins.
Trailhead: Hungo Pavi
Fee: $8/vehicle
Attractions: Chacoan Great House

Hungo Pavi is located in the Chaco Culture National Historic Park in northwestern New Mexico. The site lies 2 miles west of the Visitor Center on Canyon Loop Drive. For our take on the access road to Chaco Canyon see either the Pueblo Bonito or Una Vida trails. Hungo Pavi, "Reed Spring Village", was a Chacoan great house with around 150 rooms, 2 kivas and an enclosed plaza. Portions of the ruin may have reached 4 stories high. The site has never been excavated and appears as it was first found.

Hungo Pavi is the first stop along the loop road after leaving the Visitor Center.

The wide trail is hard packed and has gentle grades. Nothing says that it is wheelchair accessible but we have seen similar trails that had that designation. Visitors with baby strollers should find the trail suitable for that use.

With the cliff as a background, in a contrasting color, one can't help but to imagine how impressive this site would have looked.

All of the ground between the trail and the standing walls is unexcavated keeping its secrets preserved for some future date or possibly forever.

The larger round holes on the left and right of the photo would have had logs passing through them to support the smaller branches and thatch that can be seen protruding from the back wall. The last layer would have been covered with material probably like what was used on the roof to form a solid floor between the two levels of the building. It is evident from the height of these holes that quite a bit of fill has blown in to fill the space as well as probable rubble from the upper levels.

Chacoan great houses were large 'D' shaped structures with back walls that often were longer than a football field. Only a few of the rooms were used for living quarters with most of the space set aside for other activities such as trade and ceremonies.

Here is a picture of a 'blister beetle' that was crawling about the site. These little critters secrete a toxin, cantharidin, that will raise blisters on your skin that look a lot like a second degree burn. They are toxic enough to kill a horse if they ingest several of them in their hay.

You might notice the bicycle rack in the picture. While all of the trails are restricted to hiking only, except the Wijiji, Casa Chiquita, and Kin Klizhin trails, cyclists can ride the 9 mile loop and have a place to leave their bikes while visiting all the sites. Even though the Hungo Pavi ruin has never been excavated studying the site still deepens a persons overall feeling of the culture. Visitors can complete the short trail at a leisurely pace and be on their way in about 30 minutes. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.