Day 3: Grand Canyon National Park- Meteor Crater-Petrified Forest National Park-Holbrook (Petrified Forest National Park)
Trip to American Parks. We get up around 7 and after breakfast, around 8.30 we leave for our next destinations: Humpreys Peak, Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest national park. After passing near the Humpreys Peak (3 853 meters high) covered with snow, around 10.30 we arrive at the Meteor Crater that we visit.
The landscape we have crossed is truly amazing: the contrast between the snow-filled mountains and the red desert is beautiful. After the Meteor Crater we reach Holbrook where we take possession of our room at the Americas Best Value Inn. The distance traveled between the Grand Canyon and Holbrook is approximately 180 miles.
Petrified Forest National Park
Let’s start our trip to American Parks by exploring the Petrified Forest National Park. Here the scenery is truly impressive, so much so that in this park we travel about 80 miles (circular route from Holbrook to Holbrook). Entering from the north side of the park the first scenario is offered to us by the Painted Desert. Here the colors of the rocks are a mixture of red, white, pink, purple, gray. The mountains are exactly what the Indians in the old western films go through to attack the stagecoaches. They are shaped like tables. Further on in the park we visit the remains of the petrified forest, thousands of pieces of petrified tree trunks that have become beautifully colored minerals. This was a really exciting day!
Day 4: Holbrook (Petrified Forest National Park) -Canyon de Chelly-Kayenta (Monument Valley)
Trip to American Parks. Today weke up at 7, departure at 8.45, our destination is the mythical Monument Valley. I can’t wait to see it!
Canyon de Chelly
It is 12.15 and we have just finished visiting a part of the Canyon de Chelly.
Ours was a sudden choice: we saw it on the map and therefore we decided to visit it. The temperature has risen but it is fine because it blows a cool breeze. Finally you see the land of the Indians. The rocks have taken on a more grandiose appearance: they are very red and deep. The contrast is made by the green that fills the canyon. We were able to admire very high rocks.
This morning we crossed the reserve of the Navajos Indians, the land is not as arid as I expected, there is absolutely no agriculture, but on the other hand there are myriads of small saplings, the real desert starts from Many Farms. In Chinle in the Navajo reserve we visited the Canyon de Chelly National Monument. You do not pay for visiting the canyon, admission is free. This canyon is absolutely worth a visit (even more in-depth than what we could have done) for its high overhanging walls and in particular we loved the Spider Rock: a double rocky pinnacle right down the bottom of the canyon that is truly breathtaking .
The Spider Rock can be seen from a beautiful viewpoint, which is located at the end of the south road that runs alongside the canyon, and which can be reached on foot from the parking lot (about 100 m walk). We continue our journey until we reach the village of Kayenta. We stay at the Hampton Inn hotel, our base for visiting the Monument Valley. From Holbrook to Kayenta (via Canyon de Chelly) it is 230 miles.
6:24 pm, we are sitting at the Belvedere on the Monument Valley and the view is simply fantastic. We are in the Navajo reservation and here we are an hour ahead of the rest of Arizona. We have already covered the 17 miles of scenic drive: a dirt road with 11 viewpoints. The rocks that form the valley are really like as one expected them, but to understand you have to see them. The route from Kayenta to Monument Valley (including scenic drive) and back is 70 miles, if you don’t want to go back it’s probably more convenient to stay in the towns of Mexican Hat (20 miles), Bluff (40 miles) or Blanding (70 miles ).