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Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Denver, Colorado
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Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Traveling in October and stuck on whether we have time to work in a Hopi Mesa guided tour.

Here's the itinerary as it relates to this portion of the trip:

10/7 Blanding to Monument Valley via Natural Bridges/Valley of the Gods/Goosenecks SP. 2 nites at The View.

10/9 MV to Canyon de Chelly. North and south rims/White House ruin trail. ?Guided Tour? (Not sure if 2 nights are required.)

Check out Hubble Trading Post on way to Petrified Forest

10/12 Albuquerque by 3pm

A: Can we make Hopi Mesa after CdC, then down to Winslow (possibly Meteor Crater) AND Petrified Forest and Albuquerue by 3pm?


B:Stick to the original plan of Petrified Forest, overnight in Holbrook and be generally relaxed.

So much to see and experience. I'm stuck! Any thoughts will greatly help.

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

In my opinion, you should make time for the Hopi Mesas even if it means giving up Winslow and/or Holbrook. This is a potentially life changing experience. Sleep in your car if you have to.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

I would try to visit the Hopi Mesas, well worth it and as Don said, "potentially life changing"

10/7 Blanding to Monument Valley via Natural Bridges/Valley of the Gods/Goosenecks SP

10/8 Monument Valley all day

10/9 MV to Canyon de Chelly. North and south rims/White House ruin trail.

10/10 Maybe a tour in the morning and then off to Hubbell Trading Post and Hopi Mesas. Try to get lodging in Hopi or on to Winslow and the La Posada Hotel

10/11 Petrified Forest and then possibly to Gallup NM. Maybe to Zuni Pueblo, El Morro Nat Monument. Look at the El Rancho Hotel and old Rt66 hotel in Gallup.

10/12 To Abq in the morning.

Denver, Colorado
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3. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Thanks Don and CasaAzul.

I really want to make it happen. This region is a hole in my travels. Have been north (a lot!...bypassing my favorite spot this year), south, east and west of this area.

How much time do I allow for a Hopi Mesa guided tour?

I will try to get a room at the Cultural Center if it will give more time on the mesas. I do not need to go to Winslow or Holbrook. They were only sleeping points along the way. Although, as Don mentioned, the car is also a sleeping option...NOT! ;) And if an overnighter was in Winslow, we were thinking about working in Meteor crater.

My Dad has really been pushing us to stop in Gallup. (He is not traveling with us). Wasn't sure if we'd have time for that, either. But will now place it on the itinerary.

Again, thanks for the recommendations.

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4. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Most, if not all, of the Hopi guides will arrange tours to fit your schedule, but do try to set up a tour ahead of time. Walpi was closed to tourists when I visited the Hopi reservation last month, but it will probably have tours by October--at least during the week (they were preparing for special ceremonies last month). The Walpi tour is supposed to be exceptional--you drive to the top of the mesa and arrange a tour through the tourist office there; tours of the other areas are what I'd suggest scheduling ahead of time. And do go ahead and book a room with the Cultural Center (but don't count on their being able to arrange a tour for you since the tour guides have small operations, unlike the Navajo tours at Monument Valley and elsewhere, which cater to large groups of tourists). Bertram Tsavadawa is an excellent tour guide; I've also heard good recommendations for Gary Tso.

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5. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Can't speak to the Hopi Mesa tour but note the following:

1. Definitely do the guided tour with a Dineh (Navajo) guide to the bottom of Canyon de Chelly. You can do a three hour tour. We just did that, and it was about our favorite day of a two week tour. We did this in early July. I believe our company was a small family company called De Chelly Tours. It was not only interesting in terms of the scenery, but the level of understanding of the Dineh went up immeasurably from our discussions.

I question the need to do the North Rim of Canyon De Chelly. South Rim has all the views you need, and the North Rim will take a decent amount of time that might be spent elsewhere.

2. At Hubbel Trading post, see if you can meet a ranger named Jim Kristofic, a white guy who grew up a few miles from the trading post. In advance, you might consider reading his book "Navajos Wear Nikes," a really interesting account of his life. We bought it by accident at the cultural center in Window Rock, another place you might consider stopping if you have time, and then met the author an hour later - talk about weird coincidences. Also in Window Rock is one of our favorite shopping sites, which I think is called the Arts and Crafts Enterprise. Probably the least expensive rugs, authentic jewelry, etc.

3. If you can go to Gallup, definitely stop at Earl's. A great local diner-ish kind of place where artisans go to peddle their wares from table to table. Food is nothing special but the overall experience is.

4. We stood on a corner in Winslow Arizona. Depressing. Not the lark we expected it to be.

5. PS - From Hopi Mesa, I would consider going back across 264 to Gallup. That will allow for a stop at Hubble's Trading Post and then Window Rock.

Edited: 26 July 2012, 06:52
Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

Thanks to all for your recommendations.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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7. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

If you skip a night in Monument Valley you can get from Monument Valley to Hopi and stay for the night at the motel. From Hopi to CdC next day. I would not want to make a detour for Meteor Crater. If you drive via Tuba City to Hopi you drive along Coal Mine Canyon. Spectacular views from the rim. Just take the short unpaved road at mm337 to the small windmill. The canyon is right beyond that.

Valley of the Gods is a dirtroad also. Take at least one hour and don't drive when wet. Muley point from the top of Moki Dugway is another short drive with spectaculat views at the end of that road (good dirtroad) Don't miss Mexican Hat Rock and stop at mm13 off 163 on your way to MV and make some photos there. Getting to

White House from north rim and back app takes 2.5 hours.


8. Re: Do I have time for the Hopi Mesa?

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