This morning turned out sunny with the promise of warm weather. I drove along the rim of Canyon de Chelly and stopped to admire the view from several overlooks. The view are totally awesome – sheer cliffs of hundreds of feet, colorful sandstone formations, meadows nestled in the valley below.
The park is located on Navaho Indian land so they take advantage of every oppertunity to sell their wares to the tourists. Every place you stop the Indians have their tables set up to sell jewelry and other trinkets. There is only one trail leading to Pueblo Indian ruins that you can go to unguided, all the rest require that you hire a guide or join a tour. You can probably guess which trail this high plains thrifter took.
It was a fun walk down the cliff face to the valley where the ruins lay. Some of the trail was chisled from the rock face and in a couple spots tunneled several yards through. At the bottom, I had to pass more tables of jewelry and a fence kept onlookers back over 100 feet from the ruins.
On the way back up it started to rain. I ducked under ledges when the showers became steady and hiked when they let up. At the top, I could see lighting in the distance so I decided to call it a day, get something to eat, and head back to the campground. Tomorrow I will head to Mesa Verde NP.