Salmon Ruin Heritage Park

Round Trip Distance: 0.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5402 - 5464 feet
Cellphone: 2-5 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Salmon Ruin Visitor Center
Fee: $3/adult, $2/senior, $1/ages 6-16
Attractions: Tepee, pithouse, wikiup and much more

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The Salmon Ruin Heritage Park is located at the same site as the Salmon Ruin a few miles west of Bloomfield, New Mexico. The site is owned by the San Juan County and managed by the San Juan County Museum Association. The Heritage Park includes exhibits covering the examples of the many aspects of the people that once made homes in the area and contributed to the rich diversity of the present day landscape and inhabitants. Visitors have the opportunity to get an up close look at tepees, hogans, wickiups and a pithouse as well as a trading post, carriage house, bunk house and all the implements that went with them and much more.

The Salmon Ruins are located on Highway 64 about 2.5 miles west of Bloomfield and 9 miles east of Farmington. Check out their website for the current fees and hours of operation.

After paying the entrance fee visitors can follow the trail down the hill from the Visitor Center or drive their vehicle to the lower parking area and begin hiking from there. The trail is wheelchair accessible with assistance.

The trail makes a course through the various exhibits.

Hogans are apparently popular to this day as many can be seen throughout the southwest.

Some wikiups that were built so sturdy that they have withstood the passage of time can also be found on various hikes. Entire villages of as many as 40-50 are known in a few places in Colorado.

One of our favorite exhibits was the pithouse.

This pithouse includes an antechamber through which passage is made down into the pithouse.

There is more construction involved with one of these than one may have thought. Some of the timbers are huge in this one.

To span the gap between the times of the first European settlers to the near present there is a trading post...

...and a carriage house. Behind the carriage house is a large root cellar and a bunkhouse for the hired hands. (The pithouse looked more hospitable than the bunkhouse did.)

For the sake of brevity we skipped over many of the attractions but this should be enough to give readers an idea of what to expect. The Heritage Park is a good location to bring the entire family and have a picnic. Visitors will also want to tour the Salmon Ruin and the museum and gift shop while they are here. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.