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Arizona - Canyon De Chelly Jeep Jamboree

This Jeep Jamboree takes place in Chinle, Arizona.

User Reviews

Arizona - Canyon De Chelly Jeep Jamboree

Avg. Customer Rating: (10.0 Stars) Average Customer Rating
Number of Reviews: 2 reviews

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Arizona - Canyon De Chelly Jeep Jamboree - Reviews

Customer Rating A Different Animal - From Trail Rating 2-4 to 4-7
Date: Aug 01, 2005
Reviewer: A JeepReviews.com User from (Escondido, CA)
Please read my review below, which was written for the 1999 event. I returned this year, 2005, to a completely different environment. In 1999, the canyons were dry after an almost rainless winter. However, in 2005 there was a good deal of rain and snow and the rivers and creek beds were full and we ran in 4WD high when we weren't in 4WD low. A few folks got stuck and had to be strapped out of mud holes and at one of the river exits most of the Jeeps had to make several attempts to make it up a steep muddy hill. A few had to be strapped or winched up that hill. One of the Cherokees sucked water into its air filter (K&N cone type) and had to be towed out of the canyon. The lesson here is -go really slow when the water is bumper high.

All of my comments concerning the cultural aspects of this event are still valid. It's well worth the time and effort to take your family on this JJ. However, if it has been a wet winter, the trail rating should be elevated from 2-4 to 4-7. Make sure you have tow hooks, and extra air filter and a 20,000 pound strap.
This review is the subjective opinion of a JeepReviews user and not of JeepReviews.com.
Customer Rating A 10 Star Cultural Event
Date: Oct 13, 2004
Reviewer: A JeepReviews.com User from (Escondido, CA)
If you only attend JJs for the wheeling, bypass this one. I never had to go into 4WD. However, if the thought of being totally emersed in Navajo culture for two days appeals to you, then load up your Jeep and head to the Navajo Nation in NE'ern Arizona. This JJ is held in Chinle, AZ which sits at 5,500' altitude. About 5,000 folks live here and 93% of them are Navajo. Chinle sits at the base of two canyons that form a giant "U". The two legs of the "U" are the Canyon de Chelly and the Canyon del Muerto. You will spend one day in each canyon.

Jeeps are divided into groups of five and each group is assigned a Navajo guide, who will normally be a woman. (women own the majority of land in the Navajo Nation - at least that's what our guide told us) The canyons are loaded with rock art, petroglyphs and pictographs, and many cliff dwellings and pueblos. Most of this art, and the dwellings, date from the Anasazi period. Each day we ate lunch on land owned by our guide, Yolonda, and her family came out and built a campfire and told stories about the Navajo encounters with Kit Carson and the U S Army. It blew my mind. History from the other side is seldom told. We arrived a day early so we could visit Monument Valley and try some Navajo food. I recommend the lamb stew and fry bread.

On the last night of the JJ, the Navajo conduct a dance ceremony, at the motel, with very elaborate costumes and story telling. This JJ is one photo op after another. I burned through 10 rolls of film in two days and could have used more. If you have children, this is an opportunity to gather materials for a year's worth of school papers and projects of all kinds. If you like to read mysteries, I recommed you read a couple of Tony Hillerman's books. They are all set in the Navajo Nation and are about the Navajo Tribal Police, in particular Lt Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee. In fact, four have been made into PBS TV movies; Dark Wind, Skin Walkers, Thief of Time & Coyote Waits. Read or view a couple of these mysteries before the JJ, it will make your experience all the richer.

This review is the subjective opinion of a JeepReviews user and not of JeepReviews.com.