***Monument Valley is very impressive, but I think it would be a better stop on the way to somewhere – not an overnight. We found everything in the area to be a bit lackluster – bad food, slightly surly, slightly rundown. The same could be said for everywhere we went in Arizona and New Mexico. Note that alcohol is not sold/served in the Monument Valley area.

We stayed at the *View Hotel. This was the right choice – the view is really awesome – but it’s not a great experience. Under no circumstances try the restaurant. Gross.

We did check out **Goulding’s Lodge. It’s cute in a dated sort of way, and has much better food (if not particularly good food). Views of the monuments aren’t very good.

On your way to Canyon de Chelly, points of interest:

  • **Burger King, Kayenta. The world’s best exhibit on the Navajo Code Talkers is located in a Burger King in Kayenta, Arizona. Worth a stop!
  • **Hubble Trading Post (Ganado, AZ): the oldest operating trading post on the Navajo Nation (since 1878) is fine for stop if you’re nearby, but not worth going out of your way for.

Canyon de Chelly

***Canyon de Chelly is beautiful! It wasn’t exactly what I expected, more of a perfect hidden spot for farming. Quite idyllic. Note that the surrounding town is pretty grim and this doesn’t seem like a particularly nice place to stay or camp. In the park:

  • (Recommended) South Rim Drive (36-mile round trip — 2 hours): National Park Road 7 offers seven overlooks into Canyon de Chelly itself: Tsegi, Junction, White House, Sliding House, Wild Cherry, Face Rock and Spider. The spectacular Spider Rock is an 800-foot sandstone spire rising from the canyon floor at the junction of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Canyon. [did this]
  • White House Nature Trail (2.5-mile, 2-hour round trip). A scenic trail to White House from the overlook on South Rim Road descends 600 feet to the canyon floor, providing the only way visitors may enter the canyon without a ranger guide. [did this]
  • North Rim Drive (34-mile round trip — 2 hours): National Park Road 64 provides four overlooks into Canyon del Muerto: Ledge Ruin, Antelope House, Mummy Cave and Massacre Cave. [did not do]