Canyon De Chelly

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Tony Graber, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Tony Graber

    Tony Graber Guest

    Hello All!

    I am taking a trip late December to Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, AZ. I
    should be at Canyon de Chelly for 3 days, December 28-30. Since I
    live in Tucson, I will be driving up to Chinle in my Jeep Liberty
    4X4. That is important because I am hoping to hire a guide and use
    my Jeep to go into the canyons of the national monument at Canyon de
    Chelly. Questions:

    1. Does anyone have any advice about the best places and times for
    pictures at Canyon de Chelly, or one of the connecting canyons?
    2. Does anyone have any experience about hiring a guide at Canyon de
    Chelly and using your own 4X4, instead of taking a "Jeep tour", and
    what are those experiences?
    3. Does the Jeep Liberty have high enough clearance to go through
    the canyons?

    I have already consulted the Photo Travelers Guide to Arizona and
    Photographing the Southwest (Vol. 2 on AZ and UT), so I am mainly
    looking for personal experiences with regard to photographing Canyon
    de Chelly.

    I will also be staying in Pinetop, AZ for the week of New Years. Are
    there any good spots for some good scenic photos in the Pinetop
    area? Scenic drives? Mogollon Rim?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tony Graber, Nov 13, 2007
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  2. Tony Graber

    RG Guest

    I took a trip to Canyon de Chelly earlier this year from Phoenix. I've got
    a couple of recommendations for the trip there.

    First consider driving the From Desert to Tall Pines Scenic Byway, also
    known as State Route 288/Forest Service Road 512. This road departs from
    State Route 188, just north of Globe, and runs along the east side of
    Roosevelt Lake, winding its way up the Mogollon Rim. An excellent short
    side trip along the road is to Workman Creek Falls. The road runs through
    the town of Young, and then drops you on State Route 260, west of Heber.
    The road is mostly dirt, but is a fast dirt road that would present no
    problems for your Jeep. It's the first time I've ever driven the road, and
    it was definitely worth the trip. I learned about the road from "The
    Insider's Arizona Guidebook", published by Arizona Highways. This book would be an excellent companion to
    Laurent Martrès' outstanding book that you mentioned earlier.

    Second, consider spending a half day at Petrified Forest/Painted Desert on
    the way to or from Canyon de Chelly. It's right along your way. I spent my
    first night in Hoblrook, entering Petrified Forest when they opened in the
    morning. I spent a half day shooting the park, and then drove to Canyon de
    Chelly, which left plenty of time for late afternoon/sunset shots from the
    rim of the canyon.

    In shooting Canyon De Chelly, I took many photos from all the lookout points
    along Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto. I also took a guided tour
    into the canyon. I took one of the group tours that departs from
    Thunderbird Lodge. The group tour into the canyon was more than worth the
    time and cost, and a privately guided tour in your own vehicle would only
    add to the experience.

    Canyon de Chelly as well as Petrifed Forest and the Desert to Tall Pines
    Scenic Byway are all a photographer's paradise. Take a tripod and a
    graduated neutral density filter, as well as a good circular polarizer, and
    enjoy the trip. I've got many wonderful shots from my trip there this
    RG, Nov 14, 2007
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  3. Tony Graber

    KGB Guest


    We were there in Sept 2005. Certainly no problem leaving the car in
    car parks - and no signs of any broken glass.

    KGB, Nov 15, 2007
  4. Tony Graber

    ray Guest

    I've not been to Canyon De Chelly, but from my experience in other
    national parks, you are not generally allowed free reign - I'd be
    surprised to learn that they have any roads open for free travel that
    would require four wheel drive.
    ray, Nov 15, 2007
  5. Tony Graber

    Tony Graber Guest

    Well, apparenty, one can hire a Navajo guide, for a fee, and go into
    both Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto. Others have done it
    recently and I plan to do the same. Thanks to all for your comments!
    Tony Graber, Dec 7, 2007
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