L o s t D u t c h m a n
EXPLORE WITH HOUSTON INSTITUTE FOR CULTURE

Visit the Regions | Southwest | Pacific | Gulf Coast | Go to the Map


Chaco Canyon This travel planner is ideal for people who have limited time to tour the Southwest, who would like to see as much of the Four Corners region as possible with only nine or ten days away from work.

This suggested nine day itinerary is full of activity, but maintains a reasonable balance of time for exploring and necessary time to get around in this wide-open land. You will notice a comparison of the time spent driving and visiting. The time calculated for driving attemps to take into account slow or difficult driving conditions. The time indicated for visiting considers the time from departure in the morning to arrival in the late afternoon. It does not count breaks for lunch or time after arrival at each day's destination.

The generally early arrival times are intended to help you arrive safely before dark, leaving time to look around town, eat and get plenty of sleep. You shouldn't spend extra time on the route unless you have a guaranteed hotel or motel reservation at your destination.

In the shaded area is a suggested itinerary for driving to major destinations and to the right of the shaded area is a short description and some suggested activities, including day hikes or points of interest, as well as tips to help you avoid hassles or delays.

You will find some alternative activities and routes within the suggested itinerary and some options for extra days if you can spare more time.

Packing List | Warnings Page | Photo Tips | Metric Conversion



MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9


Map and photos coming soon.





MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 1 | Get Acquinted with the Desert

Albuquerque, NM to Holbrook, AZ

11:30 am DRIVE
I-40 West to Grants, NM (75 miles, 1.5 hours)

1:00 pm LUNCH
Grants, NM (30 minutes)

1:30 pm DRIVE
I-40 West to Petrified Forest N.P. (130 miles, 2 hours)

3:30 pm (2:30 pm)* VISIT
Park Road South to U.S. 180
Petrified Forest N.P. (2.5 hours)

6:00 pm (5:00 pm)* DRIVE
U.S. 180 West to Holbrook, AZ (25 miles 30 minutes)

6:30 pm CHECK IN (5:30 pm)*
Holbrook, AZ [option: Panguitch]

*Arizona does not adjust for Daylight Savings Time, while the Navajo Nation does.

Drive 4 hours, Visit 2.5 hours

Description: Day One begins at 11:30 am, leaving time for an early flight into Albuquerque, or to sleep late in the event of a late night arrival the previous day. If you have free time in the morning consider visiting Old Town Albuquerque, where you can eat and stroll around the shops and historic buildings. If you are ready to hit the road early, consider the options below.

The scenery on this leg of the journey will serve as a warm-up to the days ahead. Interstate 40 passes near the old roadbed of nostalgic Route 66. Central Avenue through Albuquerque is marked "Historic 66," as are stretches of the road through Grants, NM, Gallup, NM and Holbrook, AZ.

On the Navajo Nation, just across the Arizona border, you will find competing tourist stops advertising that they are Indian trading posts. If you want to see a historic trading post, visit the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado, AZ, about 40 miles North on U.S. 191 [exit I-40 at milemarker 333 in Arizona]. Navajo weavers sometimes demonstrate their expert skills in the visitor center.

Suggestions: Eat lunch at the Uranium Cafe in Grants, NM. If you're there earlier, or if you stay overnight, try the Uranium Breakfast Burrito.

Alternates: If you set out early from Albuquerque, consider taking a tour of the continuously-inhabited Acoma Pueblo (Sky City) [at exit 108 take Road 22]. Or, take NM 53 [exit 81 at Grants] and visit El Morro National Monument (Inscription Rock), where you will find petroglyphs, Spanish inscriptions and pioneer carvings in the base of the cliff. You can hike to the top and see the ruins of a pueblo.

If you choose to visit the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, you should allow at least two hours. If you are trying to beat the summer heat in the desert, this would be a good alternative to the Petrified Forest.

Extra Day Options: El Malpais N.M., or Chaco Canyon N.H.P.

The best extra day option on this stretch of the trip is the lava flows at El Malpais National Monument. Stay in Grants, NM and hike the LaVentana Trail, visit the La Ventana Arch and the visitor center on Highway 117. There are also craters, lava tubes and a privately-owned ice cave on NM 53.

If you spend an extra day in the area, be sure to visit the Acoma Pueblo (Sky City) and El Morro National Monument (Inscription Rock).

Chaco Canyon N.H.P. is among the most impressive archeological sites in the world and deserves an extended visit to allow time to hike to the many pueblo ruins, experience the living conditions and to see the views from Alto Mesa.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 2 | Prehistoric People

Holbrook, AZ to Page, AZ

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Holbrook, AZ (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
I-40 West to Winslow, AZ (30 miles, 30 minutes)

8:00 am VISIT
Homol' ovi State Park (2 hours)

10:00 am DRIVE
I-40 West, 89 North to Sunset Crater N.M. (80 miles, 1.5 hours)

12:00 pm VISIT
Sunset Crater N.M./Wupatki N.M. (4 hours)

4:00 pm DRIVE
89 North to Page, AZ (125 miles, 2.5 hours)

6:30 pm CHECK IN
Page, AZ

*Arizona does not adjust for Daylight Savings Time

Drive 4.5 hours, Visit 6 hours

Description: Have a quick breakfast in Holbrook and go on to Homol' ovi State Park. It will be to the right, or north, of Interstate 40 and you will find the exit (257) 4 miles before Winslow. The visitor center and archaelolgical sites at Homol' ovi are north on 87. Archaeologists frequently work here in summer and you can observe and ask questions. Try to get there early because an exciting day is ahead and you don't want to miss some of the later stops.

On the way to Sunset Crater N.M. you will need to exit from Interstate 40 before Flagstaff and follow the signs closely to get on 89 North. You will travel about 15 miles north before turning right to Sunset Crater N.M. After a brief stop at the visitor center you will travel a short distance ahead on the park road to a scenic pullout where you can park and hike up to the top of a small cinder cone. You will find excellent views of Sunset Crater and the San Francisco Peaks, the tallest in Arizona. You will also want to park near the base of Sunset Crater and hike the Lava Flow Nature Trail.

A short distance beyond Sunset Crater you will enter Wupatki N.M. on the same park road. There are several ruin sites to visit. Each will offer interesting contrast to the Homol' ovi sites, partly because of the red landscape and their proximity to Sunset Crater. The main site near the visitor center features a kiva and a ball court. Allow plenty of time for the remaining drive to Page. Be most conscious of the time if you do not have a hotel reservation in Page.

The drive north on Highway 89 can be unfriendly. Locals and lake visitors drive extremely fast and tourists are their obstacles. As a tourist you will want to make a stop or two. There are Navajo traders along the route, although they are becoming few. There also is the historic Cameron Hotel where 89 crosses the Little Colorado River near the turnoff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Cameron Trading Post is well equiped with provisions and trinkets for tourists. You'll be able to eat in Page and you'll want to be on the road with plenty of daylight left. The scenic red cliffs and painted desert along Highway 89, particularly in the late afternoon, are inviting. If you pull off the road to take a photo, check closely in your mirror and use you signal.

Suggestions: Bashful Bob's Motel is a great alternative to the corporate hotels in Page. The apartment-style rooms are perfect if you plan to stay several days.

Alternate: Walnut Canyon N.M. is a site featuring ancient ruins east of Flagstaff. You may consider it instead of Homol' ovi State Park. Or you may want to look around Winslow, an old stop on Route 66 with an interesting train station and historic hotel.

Extra Day Options: Should you want to visit the Grand Canyon N.P. South Rim, in addition to the planned stop at the North Rim, you will want to consider staying this evening in Flagstaff. The best plan would be to get your hotel or motel and then continue on the Sunset Crater N.M./Wupatki N.M. for the day. Set out early the following morning for Grand Canyon N.P. to beat the crowds. The Tusayan Ruin and Museum on the south side is very worthwhile. You may also want to stop along the highway at an overlook beside the Little Colorado River where Navajos sell art and jewelry.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 3 | The Grandeur of the West

Page, AZ

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Page, AZ (1 hour)

8:00 am VISIT
Slot Canyon (3 hours)
[option: Antelope Canyon, or Water Holes Canyon]

11:00 am DRIVE
89 South, Alt89 North, 67 South to Grand Canyon N.P. (120 miles, 2.5 hours)

1:30 pm VISIT
Grand Canyon N.P. North Rim (4 hours)

5:30 pm DRIVE
67 North, Alt89 South, 89 North to Page, AZ (120 miles, 2.5 hours)

8:00 pm CHECK IN
Page, AZ

*Arizona does not adjust for Daylight Savings Time

Drive 5 hours, Visit 7 hours

Description: Be sure to have your hotel arrangements for the evening so you aren't rushed to get back to town. If you are interested in hiking one of the unique slot canyons in the area you will need to decide which one. There are two easy options: Antelope Canyon, or Water Holes Canyon. Both are operated by Navajos and they are significantly more expensive than most government operated natural parks. In addition to the entry fee, you will have to pay a Navajo Nation hiking permit fee and a camera use charge in some cases. Be sure to see the Warnings Page before entering slot canyons or hiking on the Navajo Nation.

Two good local sources for information on the slot canyons are the Powell Visitor Center in town and the Glen Canyon Dam northwest of town. You can ask almost anyone at a local hotel or restaurant. To take a guided hike into Water Holes Canyon you will have to call the operator to make arrangements ahead of time.

To hike the short trail through Antelope Canyon you can take Highway98 east from where it meets Highway 89 south of town. You will find a parking lot off of the road in sight of the massive Navajo Generating Station. Signs will advertise Antelope Canyon Tours. You will probably be limited to one hour in Antelope Canyon, which will leave plenty of time for sightseeing at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon provided you bagin your slot canyon adventure early in the morning.

The route to the Grand Canyon North Rim is amazingly scenic and the reward is tremendous. The North Rim, although it will probably be bustling with tourists, is a well-kept secret. At a higher altitude than the South Rim, the North Rim is much more forested and cooler in summer. The North Rim is usually closed in winter due to snow.

Suggestions: Where Alternate 89 crosses the high Navajo Bridge you will want to park and look down into Marble Canyon and the Colorado River. There is a parling lot to the right just across the bridge. The lanes of the first bridge are now open to pedestrians.

Alternates: Instead of a slot canyon hike you may want to visit Lee's Ferry in Marble Canyon. The site of the historic crossing is on the river level and it is the point of entry for many of the raft trips through the Grand Canyon.

Extra Day Options: If you have extra days or later make a return trip, exploring Lake Powell's mysterious coves by boat will surely be on your agenda. You can also take a tour in the depths of the Glen Canyon Dam.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 4 | The Road to Zion

Page, AZ to Hatch, UT

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Page, AZ (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
89 North, 9 West to Zion N.P. (90 miles, 2 hours)

Scenery: Escalante/Grand Staircase

9:30 am (10:30 am*) VISIT
Zion National Park (6 hours)

Hike: Zion Canyon
Emerald Pools, 1.2 miles
Weeping Rock, .5 mile
Hidden Canyon, 2 miles
Zion Narrows, 2 miles


4:30 pm DRIVE
9 East, 89 North to Hatch, UT (70 miles, 1.5 hours)

Scenery: Sevier River

6:00 pm CHECK IN
Hatch, UT [option: Panguitch]

*Arizona does not adjust for Daylight Savings Time

Drive 3.5 hours, Visit 6 hours

Description: Again, you will want to set out early to maximize your time in Zion N.P. where you will find some of the best hiking in the U.S. Because this itinerary offers a survey of the Four Corners region, we recommend trying several short hikes rather than one long trail. You will likely return and spend several days exploring Zion's diverse environments.

The 90 mile drive from Page to Zion N.P. will again offer outstanding scenery. Leaving Page on Highway 89 North you will descend to the Glen Canyon Dam that holds back Lake Powell. There are opportunities to see Lake Powell as you continue on Highway 89. Going toward Kaibab, Utah you will pass through the southern reaches of the Escalante/Grand Staircase N.M., including the trailhead to Paria Canyon.

You may be tempted to stop frequently on this stretch, but keep going to Zion. Minutes after turning on Highway 9 you will begin to see Zion's majesty as you descend through an incredible tunnel into the canyon. Continue past the turnoff to the lodge and campgrounds within the canyon and stop at the visitor center. You can look at a relief model of the canyon, follow your chosen trails and see just how massive the park is.

The trails will become more crowded, and parking more difficult, as the day goes on. Hit the trails early and rest on the lawn at the lodge later. Here are several recomendations: Emerald Pools is a very popular destination. Weeping Rock is found on a very short trail and it is a great place to break out midday snacks. The Hidden Canyon Trail is incredibly steep, but if you follow it about half way up the rock face you will find dramatic vistas and an understanding of what draws dedicated hikers to Zion. Save the Zion Narrows Trail for later in the day. It is level and cool in the afternoon heat, and you may decide to get in the clear water.

Leave Zion with enough time to take pictures at the many vistas on the way out. You will leave the way you came in. Once you return to the junction of Highway 89 you will turn left, heading north toward Hatch and Panguitch.

Suggestions: Hatch is a nice little town with a couple of motels on Highway 89, but Panguitch, about 15 miles further, presents itself as a tourist destination with historic sites. It is an old pioneer crossroads of Mormon history and has a community museum staffed by friendly and informative volunteers from the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers.

Alternates: Utah's Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a photographer's paradise, but isn't as dramatic as Zion N.P. for first-time visitors to the region.

Extra Day Options: Zion N.P. offers many days of activities and the lodge would offer great convenience.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 5 | Bryce Navajo Loop Trail

Hatch, UT

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Panguitch, UT (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
89 North, 12 East to Bryce Canyon N.P. (30 miles, 30 minutes)

8:00 am VISIT
Bryce Canyon N.P. (10 hours)

6:00 pm DRIVE
12 West, 89 South to Hatch, UT (30 miles, 30 minutes)

6:30 pm CHECK IN
Hatch, UT [option: Panguitch]

Drive 1 hour, Visit 10 hours

Description: Bryce Canyon N.P.

Suggestions: Navajo Loop route, Bryce Point, Harold's Place

Alternates:

Extra Day Options: Panguitch, Kodachrome Basin, Red Canyon

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 6 | The Grand Staircase

Hatch, UT to Torrey, UT

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Hatch, UT (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
89 North, 12 East, 24 East to Torrey, UT (140 miles, 4 hours)

Scenery: Escalante/Grand Staircase N.M.
Scenery: Dixie National Forest

11:30 am CHECK IN
Torrey, UT

11:30 am DRIVE
24 East to Capitol Reef N.P. (30 miles, .5 hours)

Scenery: Capitol Reef

12:00 pm VISIT
Capitol Reef N.P. (6 hours)

6:00 pm DRIVE
24 West to Torrey, UT (30 miles, .5 hours)

6:30 pm CHECK IN
Torrey, UT

Drive 5 hours, Visit 6 hours

Description:

Suggestions:

Alternates:

Extra Day Options: Calf Creek Canyon, Capitol Reef N.P., Dixie N.F.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 7 | The Cedar Mesa

Torrey, UT to Cortez, CO

7:30 am BREAKFAST
Torrey, UT (30 minutes)

8:00 am DRIVE
24 East, 95 South to Mexican Hat, UT (175 miles, 8 hours)

Scenery: Freemont River
Scenery: Luna Mesa
Scenery: Lake Powell

Sidetrip: Muley Point

Scenery: Mokee Dugway, Valley of the Gods

4:00 pm DRIVE
163 East, 262 East, 41 East, 160 East, 666 North to Cortez, CO (100 miles, 2 hours)

6:00 pm CHECK IN
Cortez, CO

Drive 9 hours, Visit (incl. in drive time)

Description:

Suggestions:

Alternates: Natural Bridges N.M.

Extra Day Options: Canyonlands N.P., Arches N.P.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 8 | Cliff Dwellers and Road Builders

Cortez, CO to Pagosa Springs, CO

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Cortez, CO (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
145 North, 62 North, 550 South to Ouray, CO (120 miles, 3 hours)

Scenery: San Juan Mountains

10:30 am VISIT
Ouray (4 hours)

Hike: Cascade Falls Trail, 2.5 miles (3 hours)
550 one mile South of Ouray to Amphitheatre Campground turnoff
(trailhead to the left)

Optional Hike: Ice Lake Basin


2:30 pm DRIVE
550 South, 160 East to Pagosa Springs, CO (140 miles, 4.5 hours)

NOTE: 550 South crosses two 11,000 foot mountain passes
Scenery: Silverton, San Juan Mountains

7:00 pm CHECK IN
Pagosa Springs, CO
Drive 9.5 hours, Visit 5.5 hours

Description:

Suggestions:

Alternates: Mesa Verde N.P.

Extra Day Options: Durango and Silverton Narrow Gage Railroad, Mesa Verde N.P., Aztec Ruins N.M., Chaco Canyon N.H.P.

Photo coming soon.




MAP | DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5 | DAY 6 | DAY 7 | DAY 8 | DAY 9

DAY 9 | Ancient Astronomy

Pagosa Springs, CO to Albuquerque, NM

7:00 am BREAKFAST
Pagosa Springs, CO (30 minutes)

7:30 am DRIVE
160 West to Chimney Rock Archeological Area (20 miles, 30 minutes)

8:00 am VISIT
Chimney Rock Archeological Area (3 hours)

11:00 am DRIVE
160 East, 84 South to Santa Fe, NM (180 miles, 4 hours)

3:00 pm VISIT
Santa Fe, NM (4 hours)

7:00 pm DRIVE
I-25 South to Albuquerque, NM (60 miles, 1 hour)

8:00 pm CHECK IN
Albuquerque

Drive 5.5 hours, Visit 7 hours

Description:

Suggestions:

Alternates: Bandelier N.M.

Extra Day Options: Santa Fe, Bandelier N.M.

Photo coming soon.






Albuquerque | Phoenix | Las Vegas | Salt Lake City | Denver