The Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter is the 12th in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. This New Mexico park features Chaco Canyon, a major center of culture between 850 and 1250 A.D. Three people groups can trace their ancestry to the park's sites: the Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico, the Hopi Indians of Arizona, and the Navajo Indians of the southwest.
Chaco Canyon was at the center of a road system that linked communities across a 40,000-square-mile region in the Four Corners area. The ruins at the park include buildings with pre-planned architecture, astronomical alignments, geometry, and landscaping.
In its day, this ancient urban center must have been spectacular. It includes multi-storied public buildings called "great houses," enormous circular underground "kivas," and its own special style of architecture with many petroglyphs and pictographs.
The Chaco Culture quarter's design shows two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex. The design also shows the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of the canyon. The park was first established as a national site in March of 1907.