We drove across part of the Navajo Nation to get to Hovenweep National Monument, definitely off the beaten path and definitely worth the effort. Here, the ancestral Puebloans did not create cliff dwellings, but whole towns on canyon rims. Sleeping Ute Mountain in the distance is an important landmark.
Skilled masons built Hovenweep.
We camped along the San Juan River near Bluff, Utah - an area we will definitely return to some day.
Up onto Cedar Mesa and Natural Bridges National Monument. By this point of the trip we were already on the return trajectory, but I felt like I never wanted to leave those desert canyons.
Descending into the paradise of White Canyon on our other favorite trail of the trip - Sipapu Bridge in Natural Bridges National Monument.
In White Canyon
Wandering the canyon bottom
We said goodbye-for-now to desert ratting in Capitol Reef National Park.