Monday, April 10, 2017

Holbrook to Chinle, and Two RV Park Reviews

Today we drove the truck from Holbrook to Chinle.  We left the RV behind at the KOA.  There are two RV parks in Chinle.  Neither is really suited to a 41 foot RV.  The hotel said we could park in their lot.  Having seen the ingress and egress from the hotel parking lot, we're glad we didn't do that, either.
The entire drive is on AZ191.  It's not a bad road!  We talked to a ranger at the Hubbell Trading Post and he reports that there is a section just north of Chinle that needs to be resurfaced, but other than that, it's not bad all the way to Moab.  So that is encouraging.  There are a few signs warning of downhills up ahead, heed the warning.  Some are pretty steep.

We stopped at the Hubbell Trading Post.  It has been in business since 1878.   Mr. Hubbell was a good guy.  He spoke Spanish, English and Navajo. After the Navajo people were released from imprisonment in New Mexico, they walked back to this area.  They were physically and emotionally devastated.  Their first order of business was feeding themselves.  After that, they started making items for trade.  Mr. Hubbell was a part of the community, he bargained in good faith and helped the Navajo.  Three generations of Hubbells ran the trading post.

You approach the trading post over a one lane bridge.  Tour buses go in there, so you can, too.

The trading post is still functioning.  The stables and agricultural buildings are no longer in use.

Local work is for sale.

These are hand loomed rugs, made by local crafts women.

These are heads.

There were a couple of horses in a corral.  They were quite friendly.

This is a good stop.  The visitor's center is very informative, and the trading post is well worth visiting.  The rugs are all works of art.

We did a drive through of the Cottonwood campground.  The sites are not big enough for us.  Another thing we noticed is that many of the sites slant the wrong way from the one way street.  This is a primitive campground, there are no utilities.  Although it's in a national monument, it's on the reservation, so the Golden Geezer card is not honored.  For a smaller RV, this is not a bad park.

This was surprising.  It's an Airstream with a slide.  I did not know they made such a thing.

Nine miles up the south rim road from the visitor's center, there is the Spider Rock Campground.  We can not recommend this place.

Road are dirt, they're the red dirt that becomes impassable after rain.  RVs are just sort of jumbled in there. Many of the sites are off to the side, interspersed among the shrubs.  This is what one reviewer wrote on rvparkreviews.
The web page for this campground is deceptive. If you like camping in a landfill or in a debris field after a major earthquake: then you will love this place. I wasn’t sure if it was the abandoned trailers with broken windows or the plywood lean-to pit toilets that was the most disgusting. We called the listed phone number and left a message. Never received a return call. Drove the 9 miles from the park visitor center and attempted to make contact in the office which was surrounded by debris and trash. No one at the office or anywhere on site. Nothing is level and you can’t tell the muddy roads from the campsites. The Cottonwood campground is fine. Spider rock is not worth the drive from the visitor center. Put this on your do not camp list!

The roads into Canyon de Chelly from Chinle are steep.  We saw many Class C RVs on the road.  A Class A could do the drive, but it would be slow.
It's a glorious place.  We spent the afternoon at overlooks.  Here is a preview of what we saw today.

1 comment:

  1. After driving through Rocky Mountain National Park, we could certainly handle Canyon de Chelly, but would we want to? Not sure about that. I can't wait to see it through your eyes, though. Glad 191 was not bad. It looks better than some we have driven, that's for sure. The Cottonwood Campground looks like a lot of places we stayed last year. Gotta watch those overhanging branches for sure, and why DO they slant the sites the wrong way? Or have the pull-thrus with your door facing the road, like we had in Yellowstone, and a lot of folks had at Teddy Roosevelt NP (thankfully not us). Gives you pause....