Chaco Canyon became the center of an ancient civilization in New Mexico's Four Corners region. (Photo Â© Media Placitas LLC)
Updated: Thursday, 05 Jan 2012, 6:23 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 27 Aug 2009, 8:36 PM MDT
FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) - Modern Farmington sprang from the banks of the San Juan and Animas River where early farmers supplied food and forage throughout the region. As the largest city in the Four Corners Farmington and neighboring communities are central to energy development with oil and gas production visible throughout the region and abundant coal supplies feeding three electric-generating stations. The city also is a gateway to recreational resources and to the ancient and present-day Native American cultures. The Diné people known today as the Navajo Nation called the area by a name translated as Three Waters for the joining of the San Juan, Animas and La Plata rivers.
The city of Farmington has taken full advantage of its location developing five miles of trails and recreation areas along the Animas River. For the hikers and campers prepared for primitive conditions a walk in the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness offers the colored badlands of the high plateau exposed by millennia of erosion.
Ancient peoples populated the area with one civilization centered in a broad canyon southeast of Farmington now known as Chaco Canyon National Monument . There early astronomers tracked the heavens as succeeding generations raised a stone city remarkable for its state of preservation. Roads radiated from the site creating a network of commerce and culture. Still unexplained, though, is the sudden fall of the Chacoan society and the fate of its people who some believe went on the found the pueblos still extant today. More than 500 rooms of ruins within the city of Aztec also are preserved as Aztec Ruins National Monument.
One of the premiere trout rivers in the country flows upstream from Aztec where the chilled water released from Navajo Dam feeds a stretch of the San Juan River. Anglers in waders and working from outfitter's boats often catch trophy-trout subject to the Special Trout Water regulations of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish . Above the dam more recreational opportunities await boaters. As with most of New Mexico, year-round from gold to snow sports to casino gaming can be found within a short drive.