It's a short drive down to Canyon de Chelly from Monument Valley, less than 100 miles.
Several friends had mentioned the campground at C de C. It's No Reservations; No Fee.
Wow, it is so beautiful, set in the Freemont Cottonwood trees that were at the very PEAK of fall color.
With just one day I decided on the South Rim drive and a hike to White House Ruins.
Along this stretch there are seven places to stop and view the canyon so it took me a while to get out to the White House trail since I stop at every single one. Each offers another amazing view of the canyon and the ranches along the Chinle Wash.
Not much water in the wash, but it's easy to follow it's path by the cottonwood trees.
White House Ruins trail is the only one that allows public access without a Navajo guide. It's only maybe three miles around trip, but a 700 foot drop in elevation.
The sand stone cliffs are formed in swirls that defy imagination.
The roads up the canyon twist and turn around the cliffs through narrow passages just begging to be explored. Next time I will set up tours to see more of the canyon!
At the bottom of the trail there is a homestead with a hogan under a huge cottonwood tree, but NO pictures. The privacy of the people who live here is sacred.
Horses roam at will and ignore silly hikers.
The cottonwood trees against the red rock were brilliant!
The White House ruin is the one white plastered dwelling set among the others. Need to research to learn the significance of that!
Heading back to the trail up the canyon walls I met the horses again who were on their way home for the night.
It was getting late and I knew it was iffy to catch Spider Rock in full sun. Nope, didn't make it this time, but I'll be back for another visit soon!