Bodie State Historic Park is truly a gem! If you are in Eastern California, you MUST go! Bodie is a genuine California gold-mining town and at one time, had a population of nearly 10,000 people. This boom town was quickly abandoned when the gold ran out leaving stores with goods still on shelves, homes with furniture and the school house still with writing on the chalkboard. The remains of this town have been preserved in their state of "arrested decay." It was seriously one of my most favorite places I have ever visited in my life.
There is no camping opportunities in the park. The road into Bodie is only paved part of the way, the rest is dirt and depending of the season, can be rutted. It is well worth the drive and once there, parking is ample. Don't forget to take the short walk to the town cemetery. It completes the picture of how hard life must have been in this remote town.
Canyon de Chelly (d'SHAY) is a labyrinth of canyons where red rock walls range in height from 30' to over 1,000'. On the canyon floor there are streams, cottonwoods and small farms. It is a sacred place, inhabited for nearly 5,000 years. It's silence beckons you to stop and enjoy it's beauty.
The National Monument is comprised of two scenic drives: North Rim (good for morning photos and South Rim (good for afternoon photos). There are overlooks along both roads giving the visitor different perspectives and views. Look for ruins of civilizations past built within the eroded walls.
There is only one hike that is open to visitors without a guide: White House Ruin. It is a 2.5 mile round-trip hike. Allow two hours as you will be descending 600 feet to the canyon floor. Bring sunscreen, hat, and plenty of water.
NOTE: The best way to really appreciate the beauty of this place is to take a Navajo-guided tour. We were going to do this but honestly, I didn't think my kids were old enough to appreciate and understand the history and stories of the guide. After research, I had wanted to choose Beauty Way Jeep Tours, a family run operation that has been around for 60 years. If you are interested in a guided tour, please check out their website at: http://canyondechellybeautywayjeeptours.com/
Year round park hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
**Note: Navajo Nation observes Mountain DAYLIGHT SAVING Time from March through the end of October while the rest of Arizona observes Mountain STANDARD Time. When it is 1 p.m. in Flagstaff, Arizona it is 2 p.m. at Hubbell Trading Post.**
There is no entrance fee.
The Visitor Center is 3 miles (4.8 km) from Route 191 in Chinle, AZ.
Subway Cave is a fantastic opportunity to explore a lava tube! This easy hike takes you along a 1,300 feet (1/3 mile) long trail through this remarkable natural wonder. Inside the lava tube there is ample headroom down the middle but does get low along the sides. The trail itself is rubble-free for the most-part but is uneven so sturdy shoes are a must. Note that there are stairs leading from the parking lot to the cave opening so cave is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. BRING A FLASHLIGHT! Lava tube does not have any lighting and visibility is zero. Temperatures remain at about 46F year-round for a light jacket. Be sure to take a light jacket.
Hwy 89/Hwy 44, Old Station, CA