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  1. Default Grand Canyon to Mesa Verde

    I'm an East-coast girl planning a western driving trip for next summer, and I could use some help:

    We'll be leaving the Grand Canyon (North Rim) and driving to Mesa Verde National Park. We'll be taking Hi 89 to 98 to 160, most of which cuts through the northern portion of the Navajo Indian Reservation.

    Looking at the map, this area appears to be empty -- even desolate. Most of the towns on the reservation seem to be in the southern portion of the reservation. Is this area really devoid of all civilization? I was hoping we'd find some interesting stops on the way through the reservation -- or at least some unusual food.

    What about Glen Canyon dam? It's just a few miles out of the way. Is it worth a stop?

    There's the 4-corners area, which I suppose is a must-do.

    Any advice on what seems to be a road less traveled?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I'd Hardly Call it Devoid of Interest

    That area, though seemingly empty on the map, is full of scenic areas as well as numerous remains of the ancient Sinagua and Anasazi cultures. Among these are Navajo National Monument, Walnut Canyon National Monument, the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River, Monument Valley, and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. Now it is true that there is precious little in the way of tourist services through there, but there are a few good motels in Kayenta and Cortez.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Lees Ferry

    Before you get to Glen Canyon Dam, you will see a turn off to Lees Ferry. That is worth a drive in... all the way to the river.

    Page is a neat little town. There is a hostel in one of the old buildings which was erected for the workers who built the dam. Clean, cosy and very inexpensive.

    There are lots of stops along the route you mention. Small settlements with interesting shops and cafes.

    But then, I just love that country. Heaven's you are just bringing back so many memories of less than 18 months ago. LOL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A couple more.

    Hi MrsPete,

    I loved this Desert scenery and enjoyed every moment of driving through it. If you are driving straight through there won't be lots of spare time but I would definately drive onto the 163 through M/V and stop there for a couple of hours. You could continue on past Mexican hat and carry on to the Twin rocks trading post and sample a Navajo pizza in Bluff. That's if you haven't eaten at Gouldings lodge before hand.
    In between the two you could take a diversion to Goosenecks State park. which is just a few miles of 261. There is nothing there other than peace and a great view though.

    Just South of the Four corners is Canyon De Chelley.

  5. #5

    Default Beyond Mesa Verde

    Hello MrsPete, I really agree with Southwest Dave, Bluff is a really great place and we always stop at Twin Rocks to eat (a lot of fun). The Desert Rose in Bluff is the place to stay if you decide to spend a night in the area. Before you decide on Mesa Verde, you might want to check out this site called "Beyond Mesa Verde" Bluff is in between Monument Valley and Mesa Verde and well worth exploring. Hikes of all levels to the Anasazi Ruins, many in our group are in their mid to late 60's and have no trouble on the trails seeing the ruins. Here is the link-
    Its an area you should NOT pass by.


    {Editor's Note: Normally, we don't allow first-time posters to place a link to their personal web site, but your photos are awesome! And well worth the variance in our policy!}
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-30-2008 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Prefered URL format herein

  6. #6


    Also worth checking out is the area known as the Valley of the God's. It is in between Mexican Hat and Monument Valley. It is similar to Moun. Valley but you can easily drive through on your own. Not far from the southern entrance to Valley of the Gods is a beautiful spot called Muley Point. It is a cliff top viewpoint where you can see for many, many miles. You can even see MV which is, I think 50-60 miles away. If you are still looking for more to do in that general area there is Natural Bridges NM and the Cedar Mesa area has a lot of hiking and such.

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