Month Visited: July
Description: Canyon de Chelly lies within the Navajo Nation boundaries, and it covers landscapes that have been continuously inhabited longer than almost any other spot in North America. Visitors will find the ruins and remains of some of the earliest indigenous tribes that lived here, including the Pueblo and the Navajo. Canyon de Chelly is one of three main canyons in the park and the views here can be unforgettable. This monument is extremely popular and is one of the most visited in the USA each year.
Our Experiences: This stop was very interesting. We had a chance to learn about how the Navajo live today, and how they lived in the past. Seeing the hogans was fascinating, and we really enjoyed seeing the various cliff dwellings left behind by the Anasazi. We did some reading before we came here so that we knew about the background of the Native Americans that have inhabited to the area. Everyone gave this stop a big recommendation.
Description: Monument Valley is situated on the line between the states of Arizona and Utah, and the name of this area means valley of rocks. There are many towering rock formations that are impressive. This valley is situated inside the Navajo Nation, and it is not a US National Park but a Navajo Tribal Park. There is a $5 fee per person to enter by road, but children who are 9 years old or younger are free. Visitors who want to hike into the valley must pay for a Navajo guide in order to do this, and there is an additional fee charged by the guide.
Our Experiences: We did some reading before this stop as well, so we knew the history of the area and the inhabitants. There were many great Westerns shot in this valley in the past and it offers scenery and views that reminded us of the Wild West. Everyone enjoyed the views along the loop tour, but we did not hike down into the valley. This was a great way to spend a few hours and see the best that this area of the country has to offer.