Jeff’s New Mexico Adventures – Salmon Ruins

One of the nice things about the Salmon Ruins ( is that they are in the town of Bloomfield, so they’re easy to get to. No driving on washboard dirt roads, and no chance of being featured in one of those, “What they did wrong that had them lost in the desert for two weeks” television shows.

When you pay for admission, be sure to borrow a copy of their guide. It’s about twelve full sized pages and filled with a huge amount of information on everything you will see. If you are any kind of history buff, you will love all of the information in the guide.

After you leave the museum and walk down the ramp to the ruins, you’ll see that the area is rustic. You’ll be walking on dirt. There are no paved walkways as some ruins have, but there is a trail to follow. Start off by going to the left to explore the Pioneer Homestead area.

Here you will see several small structures that early pioneers built for themselves and their ranch hands. There’s a pioneer home, bunkhouse and small houses for the ranch hands. As with most things back then, they are small. The houses for the ranch hands are really one small room. I’m always amazed how, in about 100 years, we’ve gone from this to a couple feeling they have to have a 2,000 to 3,000 square foot house on five acres of land, just for the two of them.

Around these pioneer structures you will also see a couple different kinds of kivas that the Indians made, and simpler structures made of sticks, branches and animal hide. Once you’re done in this area, head on over to the Ruins.

In the late 11th century, people from the Chaco Canyon area came here and built the Salmon Ruins. After they left, other Native Americans in the area used the site. In the late 13thcentury, the Ruins were abandoned for the last time. Nothing was done with the Ruins until archeologists started studying them in the 1970’s.

You can walk into some of the rooms, which is a great way to get a close-up view of how they built the walls, and what it feels like to live in the rooms. Imagine living here, and how it would feel to have a bedroom and living quarts combo that’s probably the same size as the bathroom in your home.

The small stones were a building style used by the last inhabitants.

While you’re here, be sure to check out their gift shop and museum. They also have something you don’t often find, a research library. If you need historical information about the area, this is the place to go.

I highly recommend that you visit the Salmon Ruins. It really gives you an accurate idea of how people lived so many years ago.

Have you been here? What would you like to tell my reader about this location?

Have Fun,