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Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Mesa, Arizona
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for Tempe
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Seeing Canyon de Chelly

We are trying to decide whether to drive the south rim ourselves or take a tour. How curvy/switch backy is the drive? Are the private jeep tours better than driving yourself (not sure my husband's back can take a shake and bake tour)?

Mesa, Arizona
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for Tempe
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2,032 posts
88 reviews
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1. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Bumping this up. No advice?

Aubrey, Texas
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2. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

The rim drives are easy to navigate. Nothing too windy. You can visit all the viewpoints on your own. The private tours go into the canyon. I haven't done it but I think some of the way is rough. Perhaps other with experience will comment. Also, if you're moderately fit, you could take the hike down to White House ruin over a good trail.

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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3. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

We hiked to White House ruin and it was a fairly easy hike. Of course you go down into the canyon but it isn't as steep as some trails. I would recommend taking a jeep tour with one of the Native Americans. Don't do the big bus type tours. Two of us went in a jeep for $125. It was nice to not be squeezed in with a bunch of people and also we had the flexibility of stopping whenever we wanted. The front dest at Best Western (where we stayed) arranged the tour and it was very enjoyable. It is cash or check though, no credit cards.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

We always drive and guides ourselves if possible but those tours are recommended but take at least 3 hours and don't go to Spider Rock overlook which, to us, was the highlight of visiting CdC. Drives are easy but don't leave valuables in the car and lock the doors. The NM is giving warnings for that. The Whitehouse hike maybe easy to many, to us it was strenuous (not in a great shape...) and bring water.

Tet

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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5. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Tet, I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't too clear. I meant to take the jeep tour to go down into the canyon. By all means do the rim drives on your own. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. And the hike to White House ruins could be considered difficult by some. I meant it isn't near as steep as many other trails I've done. And of course your reminder to take water is a must.

Uden, The...
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6. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

You are right Hikes and taking a tour is the only way to explore the canyon itself.

Kitchener
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7. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Hi MarianReader. I agree with the other posters, you can do the drive along the canyon rim by yourself with absolutely no problem -- these are paved roads with short walks to the overlooks. Whitehouse Ruin is a hike down and back.

However, I would strongly recommend taking the one of the tours into the canyon. Leon Skyhorse runs one of the outfits, Antelope Tours is another -- both of them will either use your vehicle or theirs. We took the tour, had a fabulous guide named David -- and felt it was worth every penny. Take the jeep tour if you can possibly do so -- the drivers are knowledgeable and will tailor the tour to you. We met some of the residents, saw fabulous ruins and pictographs, heard stories about life in the canyon -- it was well worth the price. Leon will take credit cards if you book in advance, but the price is cheaper with cash.

We opted to drive the Monumnent Valley loop on our own, but Canyon de Chelly was a highlight of our holiday!!

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Yes, you can use your own car (4x4 SUV) accompanied by a guide but don't do that with your rental and take a guided tour in one of their jeeps.

San Diego
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9. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

Planning to go to Canyon De Chelly in Oct. Can you book the private jeep tour when you arrive or do you have to book in advance??

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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10. Re: Seeing Canyon de Chelly

When we booked ours we booked the day we checked in to the hotel for the next morning. I was going to book in advance but the receptionist told me on the phone waiting till arrival wouldn't be a problem and it wasn't.