A Perfect Peace: Red Canyons & Earthen Domes

“Be still and the earth will speak to you.”
–Navajo Proverb

Navajo tree and stars

I recently flew into Las Vegas & rented a car for a whirlwind canyon lands tour to handle a few freelance assignments. The entire journey was outstanding.

I finally took the plunge and purchased a new-to-me Fuji X-T1 as well & am certainly enjoying getting to know this amazing little machine.


The beauty of Zion and Bryce National Parks can barely be described and in spite of it being high season, they really weren’t overly crowded. I hit the trails, melted into the red rock canyons and couldn’t get enough of the big, beautiful landscapes.


But my favorite experience was a two-night stay in a traditional Navajo hogan on reservation land just outside of Page, Arizona at Shash Diné.


The name of the property refers to a clan name, “bear people,” in Navajo language. The landowner, Baya, told me that the impeccably crafted hogan was carefully built by hand and represents the female hogan style. It’s made with white juniper and the packed earth dome keeps the temperature so perfect inside that I could rest comfortably and escape from the heat on 105-degree days.

The lodging, located on a working sheep farm owned by Baya and her husband Paul — and worked by her family for at least 15 generations — is run as a bed & breakfast with several options, including the hogan, a cabin, a couple of tent cabins & two converted covered wagons. The land is beautiful, with walkable roads leading to views high above Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon area. I traveled alone, but didn’t feel lonely in the welcoming environment and surrounded by natural beauty.

There’s no running water or electricity. But I had everything I needed, from an outdoor sun shower to snacks & juice provided by the hosts. The Milky Way lit up the sky at night. Friendly sheepdogs greeted me each morning. Antelope Canyon & several other less crowded slot canyons are just a few miles away.

It was perfect.

I didn’t want to leave.


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