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Indian Country Tour II

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This event is cross-posted from our sister club 4x4 Ham.


Note that only the first post from the original thread is shown. Click here for the full thread...




For many years now we have been doing an extended length trip to various locations in the South West. This year the trip will be in northern Arizona and southern Utah and will be an entirely vehicle based adventure, but there will be opportunities for some great hikes. This is a four wheel drive event, but the areas traveled will not be extreme. A full description of the trip will be found here.. I recommend that you visit this link as it includes pictures of the areas we expect to visit. If you have any questions or want to sign up, you may do so by following this link.


The title for the trip this year is a little misleading. While we will be spending time on the Navajo Nation, much of the time will be on public land. The goal of the trip, as always, is to visit little known places that either offer spectacular scenery or a cultural education, or both. To be fair, much of the trip will be a quest to discover evidence of the "ancient ones" or sometimes popularly known as, the Anasazi (thus, the title). The quest will take place on both Navajo land and public land. I should also be clear that a great deal of the trip will concentrate on the unparalleled scenery that Northern Arizona and Southern Utah offer. These two goals will take us on a two week trip covering about 8 distinct locations, which I will list below.


The scheduling of the trip was made necessary due to the opening date for one of the Monuments in Arizona. The number of places to visit may prove to be a bit ambitious and we may have to make some adjustments, but the goals of the trip will remain the same. Please note that final plans have not been made at this point. The information below is "slightly" tentative and I will update these details in the next week or so. For planning purposes, the dates and the locations to visit will change very little, if at all. You may join us for a portion of the trip if you are not able to make the full 2 weeks.


I will do a trip sign-up post soon. There will be a 6-7 vehicle limit, but we may be able to make some adjustments.


Trip Details:


***Dates 5/26/14 to 6/8/14




1. Beef Basin. BB is in a very remote area, located south of Canyonlands National Park. Using the shortest route possible, it is a little over 100 miles of travel getting to and returning back from Beef Basin. Aside from the incredible scenery, Beef Basin was once home to ancient Indian tribes and the ruins of their dwellings exist today. Unlike our trips to the Navajo Nation of the past, this area is on public land and guides are not necessary to explore these sites. As sometimes happens, after our last trip to BB, I was able to find some terrific maps of the area which showed the location of some wonderful Anasazi ruins, that I did not have during the trip. This will make for some impressive finds.


2. Fable Valley. FV is a very remote location requiring a hike of about 5-10 miles. Tucked away in the recesses of the hills are some excellent Anasazi ruins, seen by few visitors. The main trail in and out of FV is the valley floor, from which many of the ruins can be seen. This will be a full day adventure.


3. Keet Seel. Located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation is the Navajo National Monument. It contains two fantastically preserved Anasazi ruins, Betatakin and Keet Seel. We visited Betatakin a few years ago and the extent of the ruins and their condition were quite impressive. Guided trips to each site are conducted by Park Rangers. For those who may not want to take the longer hike to Keet Seel, the Betatakin trip should be considered. While shorter, the Betatakin hike is about 5 miles round trip and descends about 800 feet into the canyon floor. Keet Seel will involve a 16 mile round trip hike and the tour will take us in close to the ruins site. For more information see: http://www.nps.gov/nava/index.htm . Fees are very modest.


4. Natural Bridges National Monument. Bridges was the first national monument un Utah, being established in 1908. This is from the National Park service information brouchere:



Natural Bridges sits high on Cedar Mesa, 6,500 feet above sea level. Intermittent streams

have cut two deep canyons and three massive bridges in sandstone formed from what was

once the shore of an ancient sea. At each of the bridges, trails descend into the canyons

from the loop road. A longer trail meanders along the canyon bottoms through oak and

cottonwood groves (shown above), connecting the three bridges in one loop hike.


This site can be a one day trip. Touring the sights is mostly vehicle based with some short hikes to the bridges. Camping at established sites is available on a FCFS basis. With only 13 campsites, we may not find accommodations - we’ll see. Fees are very modest. For more information, see: http://www.nps.gov/nabr/index.htm .


5. Valley of the Gods. VOTG can either be a camping spot or a 1 hour detour to another location. There are no established campsites, but some spectacular dispersed camping is available. The 17 mile dirt road through the area gives the impression of a miniature Monument Valley. This description is from Utah.com.:



Valley of the Gods is a scenic backcountry area in southeastern Utah, near Mexican Hat. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.


6. Waterholes Canyon. Located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area and the Navajo Nation. See: http://www.summitpost.org/waterholes-canyon/716826 . Waterholes is very similar to Antelope Canyon but without the crowds. There are 3 different level of difficulty, the easiest being the most photogenic. The other levels require some form of canyoneering (rapelling) skills and the equipment to go along with the skills


7. Coal Mine Canyon. The canyon is located near Tuba City and involves a 1.5 to 3.0 mile hike. There are apparently no trails to the bottom, but for the adventurous, it is possible. From early indications, a guide is not necessary, but if a trail is available, we may need the services of a local to get us down. Extremely picturesque. See http://www.yourhikeguide.com/2013/02/02 ... ne-canyon/.


8. Alstrom Point. AP is located on a mesa above Lake Powell with a view of Gunsite Butte. This can be either a campsite for one evening or a two day rest stop. The scenery here is as good as it gets.




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