Aztec, New Mexico

A visit to Aztec, New Mexico opens one up to the varied histories and stories of many cultures and thousands of years. Aztec is one of the few communities whose history and modern life co-exist in an interesting community of ideas and functions. The beginning, both figuratively and literally, is at Aztec Ruins National Monument, which is located within the city. The next stop is the Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village. Before you leave the museum, be sure to pick up a printed guide to Aztec buildings on the National Historic Register and take a walk through Historic Downtown.
If you are into the outdoors, stop by the Aztec Visitor Center to get printed directions and handouts on the various recreational areas surrounding Aztec.  Such places include over 300 natural arches north and east of Aztec, hiking in the Bisti Wilderness and Lybrook Badlands, fishing along the Quality Waters of the San Juan River, and boating and other water recreation at Navajo Dam Reservoir.

If you are more into sports, Aztec Municipal Golf Course at Hidden Valley is within 1 mile of the city limits.  It features an 18-hole course with club house and café. East and Northeast of Aztec are numerous mountain bike trails, most popular is the Alien Run trail system in Hart Canyon which features a rugged 10 mile loop and where the Alien Run Mountain Bike Competition is held annually. In addition, Aztec has numerous parks whereby various sporting events and festivals are held. Such events this year include:

    • Aztec Fiesta Days (June)
    • Animas River Blues & Brews Fest (July)
    • Antique Truck & Equipment Show (September)
    • Founders Day (September)
    • Aztec Highland Games & Celtic Festival (October)

And if you are fortunate enough to have a plane, feel free to fly into the Aztec Municipal Airport.  Fuel is the cheapest in San Juan County, there is an airport lounge and a free courtesy car is available to visitors.

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29 Nov 2015

By Ryan Nichols