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. The Chuska mountains to the SW of there has some camping. The Whiskey Lake and Long Lake area is really nice. I have seen some amazing photos of Shiprock in early/late light. Good luck!