We arrived at the Cottonwood Campground late in the afternoon and was surprised at how full the campground was compared to my visit in 2013. We located a site and set up. There are no hookups in the campground, but there is water and a dump. The price had jumped to $14 since my last visit. Ouch. I guess I'm spoiled, because usually we don't pay this much for black top camping. There are three loops with three bathroom stations and only one bathroom site was open and in that only one of two toilets was working in the woman's side. What's up with that?
The next morning we went to the visitor center for orientation and a movie on the canyon and then headed towards the North Rim and explored all three overlooks. Hiking or driving in the Canyon is not allowed unless you are with a Navajo guide or Park Ranger, but there are enough overlooks along the rim providing good views of the landscape and ruins. A good set of binoculars is helpful.
Antelope ruins. Look towards the bottom of the photo.
Next we drove to the end of the South Rim and took in Spider Rock. The spires of Spider Rock are over 700 ft high. The South Rim has more overlooks than the North Rim, and since the day was getting late and the sky was getting even darker and the winds were really kicking up, we decided to go back to the campground and finish driving the South Rim the next day.
The next morning the weather wasn't much better, but we drove up the South Rim and started where we left off yesterday which was the White House overlook. The only trail that allows access without a guide is located here. Due to the white stuff on the ground, I didn't even attempt it. The trail was really slushy and slick. I think Tara dog was the only one enjoying the snow. Note the white ribbons on the canyon walls...they are water falls. Quite a contrast from yesterday.
The wind was blowing so hard that the water from this water fall was blowing backwards and looked like a geyser.
We continued on the South Rim back to the Campground stopping and several overlooks on the way. Then we hooked up and we departed the campground just before check out time.
We continued up Highway 191 until the turnoff towards Farmington, our next stop. On the way the iconic Shiprock spire appeared on the horizon with the clouds shrouding the top.
We arrived at the Farmington Elks Lodge which allows overnight camping. At least there is electricity and water. Although our solar is working well, and the generator is doing a nice job of keeping the batteries charged when there is no sun, it is nice to have power when there is no sun and not have to run the generator.
The next stop with be Sage Coyote Farm in Tierra Amarilla, within the next few days. I can't wait to see the new Yaks and new calves on the Farm.