Scenic USA - Arizona

Dancing Rocks

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Dancing Rocks - Round Rock, Arizona

Photo by John Mumaw

   A summer thunderstorm has transformed this dry desert floor into a tranquil pool, offering a splendid reflection of Dancing Rocks (Whale Rock). These towering sandstone formations rise 500 feet above the red desert sands in Chinle Valley. The local Navajo myth tells of a man and woman being petrified while carrying on their conversation. Other Navajo residents (Diné) refer to this sandstone sculpture as Whale Rock and Tse Nitsaa Deezahi (large rocks protruding). Stories of the Navajo and their view of the nature world offer a different way to look upon this scenic area.
   The Dancing Rocks are located along Arizona's U.S. Route 191, near Chinle. This area is filled with scenic wonders, unique red rock shapes and spires, mesas, and sandstone formations. While the desert is filled with wonderful photographic opportunities, please be advised when leaving the highway in most parts of the Navajo Reservation, hikers, photographers and sightseers must have a permit or be accompanied by a Navajo guide. It's unlawful to wander on Navajo property without authorization.

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