When the crowds were raging in every national park over memorial day weekend, we hit the road to the four corners to one of Arizona's least visited parks. This place was stunning, to say the least. Perhaps the desolate landscape, void of tourists, added to the sublime experience.
If you're coming from Phoenix, know that it is a long drive for a weekend trip. We committed to the 5 hour drive since it was a three-day escapade, and it was worth it. Honestly, it's not far for a two-day trip either, it just depends on how much of a weekend warrior you might be.
We camped at the Spider Rock campground because camping is not permitted in undesignated areas. This was the first time Justin and I stayed at a campground in YEARS. We're not huge on crowds, and campgrounds feel like they defeat the purpose of getting away from everything. Luckily, the campground was mellow, with extra spots available, which was shocking on a holiday weekend.
We hiked the White House trail to the ruins on Monday morning. It was practically empty, with only a couple of runners making laps on the trail. This trail is the single only trail visitors are allowed to hike without a guide. To see the rest of the canyon you can book tours through the campground or online.
I'm glad we made the journey to Chelly. If I were to go back it would likely be to run the Canyon de Chelly Ultra in the fall. Until then, I'll be raving about this gem of a park to those who haven't been, trying to convince them to make the trip.
I am an outdoor and travel junkie who is currently completing my doctorate in occupational therapy overseas in rural Fiji. On Sweet World Travels you will find stories of my life with my husband, the communities we serve, and the many adventures we take.