Thanksgiving Weekend at the Amangiri Part Trois

  • 4th December 2013

For your last day at the Aman, we recommend visiting another nation—Navajo Nation.

 

 

The luminous orange of the sand in Monument Valley contrasted with the desert plants is beautiful.

The luminous orange of the sand in Monument Valley contrasted with the desert plants is beautiful.

 

 

The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, covering over 27,000 square miles of unparalleled beauty.   The Aman can assist you in a private tour of Monument Valley or a private hike down to the cliff dwellings at Betatakin.  Both are about a 2.5 hr drive from the resort and offer the opportunity for near-solitude during your visit.  At either Betatakin or the back-country tour of Monument Valley you have a chance to see petroglyphs that date back by more than 1,000 years.

 

 

Betatakin Cliff Dwellings at the Navajo National Monument.

Betatakin Cliff Dwellings at the Navajo National Monument.

 

 

At Betatakin prehistoric Puebloan peoples built Tsegi Phase villages within the natural sandstone arches in the canyons. These villages, which date from AD 1250 to 1300, thrill all who visit with their original architectural elements such as roof beams, masonary walls, rock art, and hand and foot holds.

 

 

Betatakin hike must be completed with a registered guide, drops quickly in elevation and can be strenuous.

The Betatakin hike must be completed with a registered guide, drops quickly in elevation and can be strenuous.

 

 

The hike down to Betatakin is quite strenuous with a very steep drop in elevation (which means that you have to climb back up eventually!).  You can choose from a 3-mile very strenuous hike to a 5-mile just ‘strenuous’ hike.  But, don’t shy away, it is absolutely worth it.  Instead come armed with some delicious complimentary snacks from the Aman like jerky, dried fruits and dark chocolate bars from Dean & Deluca.

 

 

Grand archways give way to ancient cliff dwellings at Betatakin.

Grand archways give way to ancient cliff dwellings constructed of sandstone, mud, mortar and wood at Betatakin.

 

You can only visit the site with a registered guide, making the experience even more private and informative.  Please reserve well in advance as there are limited numbers of guided hikes available during the day as well as restraints on visitor numbers.  Having gone at the very very tail end of the season we enjoyed complete solitude.

 

 

Even on the cloudiest of days the colors and buttes are magnificent.

Even on the cloudiest of days the colors and buttes of Monument Valley are magnificent.

 

 

Monument Valley on the Colorado Plateau offers clusters of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft above the valley floor.

The totem pole in Monument Valley en route to some private arches.

The totem pole in Monument Valley en route to some private arches.

The totem pole is one of the most famous sites and is en route to some private arches which house petroglyphs.  No hiking is necessary to see these remote regions of Monument Valley.

A Navajo guide takes in an elevated view of the valley floor in Monument Valley.

A Navajo guide takes in an elevated view of the valley floor in Monument Valley.

 

 

 

Petroglyphs painted on sandstone were often of Hopi Deer, Fire, Flute and Waterclan symbols.

 

 

Petroglyphs are more than 1,000 years old and can be seen in Monument Valley and Betatakin.

Petroglyphs are more than 1,000 years old and can be seen in Monument Valley and Betatakin.

 

Our last stop in the remote, back-country, at the Sun Arch, reveals petroglyphs that are more than 1,000 years old.

 

Once back at the Amangiri, relax with a long swim in their renowned pool which wraps around a surrounding rock and is heated bathtub warm for winter weather.

 

 

Steam rising out of the pool at the Amangiri on a cloudy day.

Steam rising out of the pool at the Amangiri on a cloudy day.

 

 

On a sunnier day the pool is like reflective glass.

On a sunnier day the pool is like reflective glass.

 

 

Aman pool lit up.

Aman pool lit up.

 

 

Enjoy their rich, comforting and renowned onion soup for dinner.  The slow cooked onion broth is puréed with cream and tangy soft cheese and then topped with toasted hominy.

 

 

 

Creamy onion soup with toasted hominy.

Creamy onion soup with toasted hominy.

 

 

 

For dessert you can use the resort balcony with stunning views, or your room’s own private balcony, to roast marshmallows and make mouth-watering s’mores.  Grab the complimentary Dean & Deluca chocolate bars from the in-room fridge to elevate your s’mores to gourmet status.

 

 

The Amangiri balcony with panoramic desert views.  Available to guests for classes like astronomy and Native American dancing as well as s'mores!

The Amangiri balcony with panoramic desert views. Available to guests for classes like astronomy and Native American dancing as well as marshmallow roasting!

 

 

 

Views from the balcony and fire-pit for roasting.

Views from the balcony and fire-pit for roasting.

 

 

 

Roasting marshmallows on a private balcony at the Amangiri.

Roasting marshmallows on a private balcony at the Amangiri.

 

 

Before you leave the resort and head back home, make sure you drop into the Amangiri Gallery to find the perfect Four Corners remembrance.

 

 

Gorgeous indigenous pottery designs.

Gorgeous indigenous pottery designs.

 

 

Vintage Navajo rugs from the mid-1900s.

Vintage Navajo rugs from the mid-1900s.

 

 


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