Round Trip Distance: 0.2 miles
Elevation: 6044 - 6050 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Junction Overlook
Attractions: Scenic view, Navajo crafts
The Junction Overlook is located along the South Rim Drive in the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Shay) National Monument near Chinle, Arizona. The location is one of seven overlooks that are spread out along the south rim of the monument. It is also another good place to stop if you are looking to acquire some authentic Navajo crafted goods.
It is 4 miles to the Junction Overlook along the South Rim Drive, Indian Route 7, measuring from its intersection with the North Rim Drive.
The Junction Overlook is a paved path with an easy slope that is wheelchair accessible.
The kiosk mentions how the canyon has changed little over the centuries and that two Anasazi villages are visible from the overlook.
A good panorama of the canyon is viewable from the overlook. The junction that can be seen from the overlook is the point where Canyon del Muerto (canyon of the dead) splits off from Chinle Wash. There are several stops along the North Rim Drive that have trails overlooking the canyon and that add much more meaning to its naming.
The sandstone formation that juts up from the valley floor on this side of Chinle Wash, in the middle of the picture, is named 'Dog Rock'.
More views of the canyon are available from the area of slickrock to the side of the overlook.
We can only suppose that the pictographs that can be seen on the rocks in the area are of a more recent date.
It seems that more often than not at Canyon de Chelly that you can see either a granary of cliffhouse in most every alcove.
This is a photo of one across the canyon from the overlook.
It is always best to ask before taking a picture of any of the Navajo people or of their wares. Whether they feel like they are being made a spectacle of or for some other reason we are unsure. If you happen to see something that you like, which is extremely hard not to do, then they seem less bothered about posing for a photo with the item. They can often times relate fascinating stories about the meanings the designs that they use have.
Junction Overlook is the first of the overlooks with a clear view of a cliff dwelling. A good pair of binoculars would come in handy to get a better view though. To get a closer look at what lies within the canyon then you will need to take one of the tours that are offered by the local guides. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.