Over the weekend, my family and I visited two fun locations in the Navajo Nation.
Just south of Montezuma Creek UT, near Gothic Mesa, is a site full of phantasmagorical geological formations, similar but more imaginative than those in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park. There are formations on both sides of the main gravel road. It is a fascinating area to explore, but there needs to be caution, many of the formations appear unstable. My grandchildren had a great time exploring the area.
Also in the area south of Montezuma Creek are flat sandstone formations with a wide variety of potholes. Since it had rained recently, the potholes were full of fairly clear water.
Southwest of Bluff UT, above Chinle Wash, is an overlook with a wonderful view of the area to the west. The view stretches from Monument Valley in the south to the Abajo Mountains in the north. Below is Chinle Creek/Wash. From this overlook you have a good view of Poncho House, the largest Anasazi Ruin in Utah. The ruin includes cliff dwellings in two shallow caves plus structural remains in between. For the best viewing, take along a pair binoculars.
There is a trail that extends from the top of the sandstone cliffs down to Poncho House Ruin. We didn’t have time to hike down, but it is well worth the hike. Before hiking down, it is recommended that you obtain the services of a Navajo guide.
And before traveling to remote locations in the Navajo Nation, it is important that you check in with the local Navajo Chapter. The goblin valley formations are in the Red Mesa Chapter and Poncho House Ruin is in the Mexican Water Chapter.