camping near Shiprock, NM

Discussion in 'Americas' started by JayElDee, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    The rock itself is sacred to the Navajos. They won't let a white person camp there. If I was trying to get as close as possible, I would check with the Navajo Police Station in the aforementioned shit-hole of a town to see if they have an idea. They will probably steer you to the Holiday Inn in Farmington. :lol2
    The Chuska mountains to the SW of there has some camping.
    The Whiskey Lake and Long Lake area is really nice. :nod

    I have seen some amazing photos of Shiprock in early/late light. Good luck!
    #21
  2. Toestub

    Toestub Drowned Desert Rat

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    I've climbed Shiprock 12 times. There is a driveable but rough road all the way around it. I've camped there a couple times without asking, but you must carry a low profile. To get there, head south from the town Shiprock on 491 about 7 or so miles. Turn west on the road to Cove, go a couple miles until you get to the obvious dike, turn north. Road is rough and just about impassable when soaked. Best views are at sunset from the west side. As you approach the rock look for a small road that heads over a low spot in the dike to the left (west). Head for it, go over, there's acouple arroyos to park/camp in. (Not if t-storms approaching!!). Big boulders to sleep under. Most Navajos don't care much if you're clean and resectful. But the Chindi might. :eek1
    #22
  3. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    thanks, I'll look at your directions.

    Did you ever try to get "permission" to camp there. Are you visible from the roads? Does anyone ever go through there day or night on a regular basis as far as you know? Is the area "Posted" or No Trespassing?

    John
    #23
  4. Toestub

    Toestub Drowned Desert Rat

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    There's basically no signs anywhere around. Most of the folks in there are day trippers and picnickers. There's a main turn around area on the south side of the rock where most folks stop and gawk, then head back. I've seen Anglos and Dineh both. Rarely BIA -- they're the Navajo cops here. If you're coming to dayhike and ride around the roads and take pictures, no prob at all. Camping and climbing are a little dfferent. I camp all over the res, just dicscreetely. Navs don't really care, just don't be obvious and you won't have any trouble. I guess it is possible to get a fine or something, but if you're off the beaten path a ways nobody cares. When I camped there I camped on the southwest side where you can't be seen unless somebody drives right up on you. The low spot in the dike road as already described. Show up late afternoon, hike around, get your pics in the low light. Leave your camping gear packed. About sundown, with nobody around, set up camp. There are a couple homes a mile to the west in view, so keep your lights low. No fires, no problem. Gets cool quick though!! Pop a brew top and relax!! Next morning getup early and head to the east side for AM low light. You can also discreetly camp on the north side, but I never did. Shiprock is amazing, nothing much in the world like it. Again, this area sucks during wet weather, the clay just gets slick. Watch for thunderstorms, rare but deadly.
    Here--- http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?T=2&S=13&Z=12&X=433&Y=2537&W=3&qs=|shiprock|nm|
    #24
  5. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    Personally, I wouldn't camp at Shiprock.

    I also would not climb it.

    That's just me...


    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=280264&highlight=shiprock

    I rode around the big rock and did not get shot at. If I recall it is all on a Navajo reservation...I'm probably a day late but there is a dirt road from Shiprock into Arizona (new mexico)....I think town is called Red Rock...rough road but beautiful country and probably safe to camp there.
    #26
  7. Gordy

    Gordy SUPPORTER

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    Hey LewisNClark,

    Shiprock is IN New Mexico. :lol2

    edit: Nice epics! :thumb
    #27
  8. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    They are Close !!!

    :D
    #28
  9. Toestub

    Toestub Drowned Desert Rat

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    Yep! That's the road in!! Cool shots. Have to go dig out some of my old pics. The res has dirt roads like that everywhere. They are all legal to ride, except for areas of Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelle, Navajo Mtn, etc,,,. The Chuskas have lots of old logging roads. Lots of areas yet to be explored... I just remember I am tolerated there, not wanted or shunted away either one. Talking to Navajos it helps alot to act a little shy, look sideways and not in their eyes, and smile alot. One of the stories about a spire I climbed years ago is that the Great Spider lived on top and came to get the little kids when they were really really bad and took them back to the top and ate them. A deputy caught us comng down, and I was worried I was in trouble. Finally he asked us what we found on top. I told him nothing much, just a pile of little bones. His eyes went wide, then he stepped back and was silent. Finally he just started to laugh and laugh. Told us to get out of there. He was stil laughing when he walked off. Navajos are awesome people, they look at the world and life with humor. :rofl
    #29
  10. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Hey, LewisNClark and Rocker59

    THAT is why I want to be there.
    Thanks

    John

    PS LnC you rode a 1150GS in there? Not too heavy for the sand/dirt?

    I will be on a R1150R with Pilot Road 2s. Doable or foolhardy?
    #30
  11. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    I wouldn't camp anywhere around that area. But I'm a :icy and part Native American too - just not from the right tribe.

    I had two 'incidents' on my 11 week journey last summer which involved some self defense on my part, and both occurred in that area within 36 hours of each other. If you do cross the reservation, I wouldn't do it in the middle of the night like I did. :eek1

    Perhaps Mexican Hat would offer more options.
    #31
  12. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    probably so, but that is another 100 miles. Maybe what I could do is motel it in Farmington, take my late afternoon pics, and then head (back) to the motel. Or get up very early ride over and catch the dawn there, or both. Looks like a magical place.

    Then go on to Mexican Hat the next day--a place most definitely on the itinerary.

    Did you get to either place during daylight? take any pics?

    thanks

    John
    #32
  13. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    Only from a distance. I didn't feel anything 'magical' after what I had been through the night before. I was, however, parked along the side of the road before sunrise with Shiprock in view. I had lost my tail lights while crossing the reservation and came to a safe spot to just park and wait for daylight, so I saw the sunrise on Shiprock from the side of the road through sleepy, hazy, tired eyes.

    I suspect your experience at Mesa Verde might be repeated in the vicinity of Shiprock, from what I've read. :huh

    Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your sunrise/sunset photos. I might have time to dig up a couple of mine from that time. Just kind of busy right now, though.
    #33
  14. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I had an incident in Red Rock/Red Valley. I thought a drunk was going to throw a punch, but I defused the situration. Just sitting talking to a guy. The drunk comes up and just didn't like my "pale face".

    [​IMG]
    I like this pic. Sure see how it got its name.



    [​IMG]
    I thought his lava ridge was very cool.





    [​IMG]
    Canyon DeChelle from the rim.




    [​IMG]
    Mon.Valley in eve.


    [​IMG]
    My favorite, even if the color is Off.


    [​IMG]
    5 or 6am under a cloudy sky.
    #34
  15. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    HI, GypsyRR and Tourist

    thanks for the repsonses.

    T --did you stealth camp at monument valley? The pictures look to be taken from the same vantage point, or nearly so. And they are cool.

    K- oooo-weee, I do not want that Mesa Verde experience again. Very interesting that you say that, though. It hits home, but remembering your experience with MV it was different from mine, by about 180 degrees, I think? IN fact, it was partly because of your report I went to MV. Maybe our stars are crossed enough that Shiprock may be different for me?
    On the other hand, the 4 most dangerous words in the English language are:
    This time it's different.

    I am going to be passing there on the way to southern Utah so maybe I will p[lay it by ear, or by eye, or by 6th sense

    John
    #35
  16. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I entered Mon Vall late and stayed till after dark. I stealth camped just a couple miles from the main entrance. In the morn I found a still deserted roadside stand about 1/2 mile off the hwy on the north side of the main group of big rocks. I watched the sun play on the monolith faces for acouple of hrs. It never did rain.

    Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly is where the scene from Eiger Sanction was filmed. I remember an old western with dinosaurs and cowboys that I believe was filmed there. Probably others.

    There is a trail in the valley open to the public. Other hiking requires a guide. People still live in the valley.

    Spider woman lives on the top and comes down for bad children. :eek1
    #36
  17. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    I'm pretty sure it was the Totem Pole in Mon Valley that was in the scene in the Eiger Sanction.
    #37
  18. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    The Eiger Santion was filmed at the Totem Pole in Monument Valley as well as in Yosemite NP and Zion NP. Mackenna's Gold was filmed at Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly and in Monument Valley as well as other locations. Lot's of movies filmed in Monument Valley over the years.
    #38
  19. Paloma Paul

    Paloma Paul Paloma At Its Best

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    I've been through this area alot. It is a stark dry land with few people. Ship Rock is one of the Navajo sacred sites as is the mtn at Flagstaff, Window Rock, and Navajo Mtn. There is no camping sites at shiprock in fact to the casual observer there nothing at all anywhere near shiprock. If you have a mind to you could stealth camp for a night or find a local residents home and ask permission or hit the casino about 40 miles north on the way to Cortez.:rofl
    #39
  20. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I did some googleing about The Eiger Sanction, etc.

    The movie sight claims the Totem Pole as the sight of the climb.

    The Totem Pole sight claims The Eiger Sanction was filmed there.

    The Spider Rock sight claims The Eiger Sanction was filmed there.

    There is a video on youtube of the climb. I watched it and it looks to me as if both rocks were used and a bit of movie magic was used for the final effect.

    It looks as if the early part of the filming was done at Spider Rock. The section with the big cleft, and the latter part was Totem Pole, on top of the spire.

    What say you?
    #40