Canyon de Chelly - Any Tour Advice

Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Canyon de Chelly - Any Tour Advice

Hi

We are going to be at Canyon de Chelly next week and would be interested in any advice that you may have regarding the various tours available.

Thanks for your asssistance

Pamela
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Call Bobby at Tseyi Jeep Tours (http://www.tseyijeeptour.com/). He picks you up at the Best Western. All the tours are alike because they are authorized by the Park Service. Bobby is a really nice person & reliable.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 12:00 PM
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at the least, take a half day jeep tour.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Thanks

Yes we are planning to do a half day tour. Are there any other stops or sites nearby that we should know about. Good places for fry bread, food?

Thanks again Pamela
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Old Oct 3rd, 2007, 02:21 PM
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I don't know if they still do it, but when we were visiting, there was a night tour that was fascinating. Really different perspective then the one that you take in the day which is also great.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 01:51 PM
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We just did a full day jeep tour with Don at deChelly tours. Don was very nice and full of information about the sites, the Navajo way of life, his life. The full day tour takes in so much more than the half-day tour because it takes over 1 hour to get to some of the sites. The half-day tour skips Mummy Cave and Spider Rock because they are too far. There really isn't much at all in Chinle. They say the Holiday Inn has the best food (that is where we stayed) but our dinner wasn't so good and the breakfast buffet was a rip-off for the money they charge. We ended up eating at Subway our second night. Don said the food at the Best Western isn't too bad. After we left Chinle, we stopped at the Hubbell Trading Post and the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Park.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 04:22 PM
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We loved our tour guide. I'll check my trip report and will be back.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Same as laurie's. Here's an excerpt and a link to my trip report - in case it is helpful -

Author: starrsville
Date: 08/31/2006, 12:35 am
Here's the link to the tour company the girl at the BW set up for us -
http://www.tseyijeeptour.com/Index.html

The 3 hour tour is $125 for 1-3 pp. It was very much worth the difference to us to go on a private tour (just the two of us) in an enclosed Jeep
Wagoneer. We could set the time we wanted to be picked up. Just liked everything about it.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34849602

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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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We enjoyed an afternoon with Thunderbird Tour; it takes about 15 people on benches in an open-top truck (approx $45/person). Great for looking up and seeing a lot more than you do from a closed car.
And our guide was extremely informative about Navajo history and lore.
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Old Oct 8th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Ahhh...the "shake and bake"

We opted out of it in July but next weekend may not be too bad.
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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The weather was beautiful when we took the "shake and bake" in mid-May -- didn't think about how hot it could get down there in high summer! We had a spell of rain, for which the guide distributed WW2 era ponchos that we used for the 15-20 minutes of showers.
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Old Oct 9th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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We were there in July, so were glad to miss out on the "shake and bake". We were even more glad when the mosquitoes swarmed after a summer shower.

All in all, we were glad to pay a bit more to have a private tour, in our own enclosed vehicle and to have the flexibility of pick-up time at the Best Western. Well worth the extra money to us!

Pamela, have a great trip to CdeC.

And, thanks again to utahtea for convincing me I'd really missed something by not seeing it before.
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Old Oct 13th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Hi

Thanks for all the advice.

We did take the half day jeep tour with Tseyi Jeep Tours and Bobby was our guide. Since we were staying at the Holiday Inn, he picked us up at the visitor center.

DH was very impressed since he really had never heard of Canyon de Chelly and the tour was fantastic. ( I do all the itinerary planning ). The canyon is beautiful and then there are all those Anasazi ruins and pictographs.

We were in an open jeep, and even though it was a bit cold at the start, the unobstructed views were worth it. I would like to return and do the full day tour.

This visit was in conjunction with a trip to the North Rin of the Grand Canyon. We left Las Cruces on Friday morning and drove to Kayenta.

On Saturday morning we got up very early to meet our guide Roy at Monument Valley for a sunrise/photography tour (arranged by Tom Phillips http://www.monumentvalley.com/ ). Unfortunately it was very cloudy so the sunrise effect wasn't that dramatic but it was wonderful to be in the valley without the mass of people that you would get later in the day. We will probably book another sunrise tour next year and hope for better weather.

We then headed off to the Grand Canyon (North Rim) We were there for two nights and had a Western cabin which sort of had a rim view (through the trees). It had a fireplace which was great since it was rather cold over the weekend (down to 17 degrees on Saturday morning on the drive out to Cape Royal)

We drove to the overlooks at Cape Royal and Point Imperial, hiked the bridle trail and on Sunday hiked a little ways down on the North Kaibab trail - past Coconino overlook but we turned back before Supai Tunnel. In hindsight it didn't take as long going back up as we thought it would, so we could have gone to the tunnel. The rangers at the visitor center were very helpful with respect to planning our time there.

I think I saw a condor off in the distance, but it was the first hour we were there and I didn't have my binoculars with me, so I can't confirm it - It was definately not a vulture (bigger and different soaring position) I vowed to always have my binoculars with me after that - but of course never saw another one.

I really enjoyed our visit except for the dinners at the lodge. While the wait staff and the hostess were wonderful, the food was beyond mediocre.

I also think that maybe rafting down the Colorado would give one a greater appreciation for the Grand Canyon. From the rim there are these expansive views but most of it is just so far away.

When we left The Grand Canyon we headed to Chinle for the Canyon de Chelly, descrubed above.

After the Canyon de Chelly tour we headed to Abuquerque and the balloon festival. We went on Wednesday morning and they were doing the Dawn Patrol Show - it was fantastic, seeing the balloons illuminated in the dark pre-dawn sky. Afterwards at daybreak they had a mass launch with wave after wave of balloons launching into the air.

It was fascinating to watch the balloons launch and drift southwards, and then when they were south of the field, gain altitude and start to drift northwards, crossing back over the field and then when they were north of the field, descend and drift back southwards toward the field.

From there we headed home to Las Cruces.

And that is a summary of our brief, whirlwind tour to the Grand Canyon.

Thanks again for the advice

Pamela



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