We visited Arizona the 3rd week in May 2000. The Grand Canyon is about a 12 hour drive from Colorado Springs so we broke up the trip into smaller chucks so the drive wouldn't be that long.
All these pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.
Monument Valley Tribal Park in Northern Arizona.
On the way down there we stopped in Durango for a quick visit with Marg and Trevor. We then camped the first night at Monument Valley Arizona. This is a beautiful valley filled with huge sandstone towers and walls. There is a loop road that travels thru most of the valley and is a very nice drive. This is on the Navajo reservation so there are many restrictions as to were you can go in order to protect their privacy and livelyhood. The campground is on the rim of the valley and offers awesome views down into it.
This park is run by the Navajo Nation. It is famous for dozens of movies, mainly westerns, which have been filmed there over the years.
Antelope Slot Canyon near Page Arizona.
From there we drove on to Page Arizona which is where Glen Canyon Dam is. Just east of town there is a slot canyon called Antelope Canyon. This area is also on the Navajo Nation. This canyon is a photographers dream. It is seldom wider than a few feet and the walls are swirled and contorted by years of water erroding the sandstone. What makes it very interesting for photography is the magical quality of light as the sun moves overhead and illuminates the varying walls of the red chasm.
This remarkable canyon has been created by eons of water sculpting. It is an amazing convoluted corkscrew thru red sandstone.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
That evening we arrived at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. A large wildfire had closed the developed portion of the rim but the forest service allowed us to proceed to an area 20 miles west of the fire in the national forest. That is where we camped and prepared for our backpacking trip into the canyon the next day. Our backpacking trip was supposed to be a 3 night trip down to the Colorado River and back. As fate would have it, a major wind storm struck during the first night of the trek. We had camped 2000ft below the rim and about half the distance to the river. The winds reach about 50mph and we didn't manage much sleep that night. The next morning was just as brutal. We decided to hike out early since the weather showed no signs of letting up and we were not feeling strong for that huge hike out from the bottom. Not to mention that fine grains of sand had managed to blow into every nook and cranny you can imagine. With the fire still raging to the east, we decided to bypass the rest of the North Rim and go visit the South Rim. This is a 220 mile drive!!! We arrived there on Wednesday and set up camp at the park service camp ground at Desert View which is right on the South Rim. The wind finally abated on Wednesday night after clocking maximun speeds of 65mph during the storm. We felt lucky that we didn't continue our backpacking trip down in the canyon. We spent 3 1/2 days hiking and photographing many sights along the south rim. The weather was wonderful the rest of the time.
Hopi Point on the South Rim
Sunrise from Desert View Overlook. We camped a 5 minute walk from here.
Huge cactus flower called the Utah Agave. This was on Horseshoe Mesa which is 2500ft below the rim.
View from Moran Point on the South Rim.
Mesa Verde National Park in SW Colorado.
On the return trip we visited Mesa Verde National Park in SW Colorado. We got there in the late afternoon on Saturday and had to leave at 10 the next morning. This is definitely not enough time to spend at this special park. But we did manage to go on a ranger guided tour of a great cliff dwelling and see a few of the other sites.
The Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling.