We spent 9 days in early October, 2014 vacationing in Colorado, New Mexico and Northeast Arizona. Our vacation started with a weekend in the Denver area visiting with Dan, Jill, Alexa and Haley and watching Alexa play in a soccer tournament near Golden, Colorado. From there we flew to Albuquerque to start our driving trip to Chinle, Arizona to see Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Page, Arizona to see Antelope Canyon. Canyon de Chelly and Antelope Canyon are both on Navajo tribal lands but the Page area, like most of Arizona, does not observe daylight savings time. (The Navajo Nation does.)
A permit from the Navajo Nation is required to travel into Canyon de Chelly, but we were able to drive along the roads on the north and south rims of the canyon and stop at several overlooks to view the canyon and many of the Anasazi ruins. We also took a 3-hour tour inside the canyon with Canyon de Chelly Beauty Way Jeep Tours. Ben Teller, our guide for the tour, has family living in the canyon. He told us many things and answered all of our questions. It was a great way to learn more about the Navajo and Anasazi history and culture. While in Chinle, we stayed at the Best Western Canyon De Chelly Inn and ate at Junction Restaurant.
We left Chinle early on Wednesday and took a detour to Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah state line near the Four Corners area. It was a cloudy morning and we didn't want to take our rental car (a Jeep Compass) on the 4wd road to see the rock formations, so we took a few photos from the visitor center and continued our drive to Page, Arizona. While in Page, we spent one morning hiking at Horseshoe Bend Overlook (with a view of the Colorado River 4 miles south of the Glen Canyon Dam and 7 miles north of mile zero of the Grand Canyon). We also stopped at the Carl Hayden Visitor Center at Glen Canyon Dam.
Our primary motivation for visiting Page was to see Antelope Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon on Navajo land near Page. Access to Antelope Canyon is restricted to guided trips. We went on a 1.5 hour tour of Upper Antelope Canyon with Antelope Slot Canyon Tours by Chief Tsosie. They also offer a 2.5hr professional Photographic Tour (with limited space, it's for Professionals & Photo workshop students only).
On our drive back to Albuquerque, we visited Petrified Forest National Park. We were there in 1964 and 1984 and we were disappointed to see fewer small petrified rocks on our visit in '84. It was nice to see more of them on this visit. We also enjoyed stopping at an overlook to see the Painted Desert before we got back on I-40 to continue our drive to Albuquerque.
Click on a picture below to see more photos from that part of our vacation.