Visitors of Grand Canyon Village that prefer to escape from the big crowds can find some relief when traveling east on Desert View Drive. In fact, when the crowded human zoo becomes overwhelming, plenty of peace and quiet can be found just beyond the east gate of this National Park. The Little Colorado Gorge awaits just east of the Grand Canyon National Park and the old historic Cameron Trading Post is located nearby. Many people find that the relaxed friendly atmosphere outside the National Park is what they really are seeking, which inspires learning more about Navajo tourism ventures.
The community of Cameron is located at the intersection of State Road 64 (Desert View Drive) and Highway 89 just east of the Grand Canyon in the Navajo Nation. This little town hosts a few gas stations, restaurants, native art galleries and one of the most famous trading posts in the west! The historic Cameron Trading Post is located on the banks of the Little Colorado River just east of the Grand Canyon. The first bridge traversing the Little Colorado River was built in the early 1900s at this spot and the Cameron Trading Post was constructed shortly after. Travel was done by horseback or wagon back in those days, so the bridge opened the door for increased trade. Soon the Cameron Trading Post became a center for native commerce and the age of the automobile brought modern tourism dollars into the picture.
Through the years, the Cameron Trading Post has transformed into a modern hotel resort lodge with all amenities. The old early 1900s adobe and stone buildings have been preserved and the modern hotel resort structure adapted the same traditional architectural style. Visiting the Cameron Trading Post is like stepping back in time to a simpler age. The trading post is stocked full of high quality native goods. Everything from Bison Jerky and Prickly Pear Cactus Licorice to unique works of native art and fine Navajo jewelry can be found in this place.
The Cameron Trading Post Hotel Lodge also has a great restaurant. Because this lodge is located in the Navajo Nation, the decor and atmosphere of the restaurants takes on a native theme, rather than an old west cowboy tone. The furnishings and decorations create a peaceful captivating dining environment that naturally inspires pleasant conversation amongst guests. Alcoholic beverages are banned in the Navajo Nation, so the atmosphere is perfect for visitors of all ages.
The Cameron Trading Post Restaurant offers a native cuisine theme. The menu is printed in both Navajo and English languages, so guests can learn a little something while browsing for a bite to eat. I worked in the Grand Canyon for one year and when I dined out, I did the trip to the Cameron Trading Post nearly every time. The Yah-Ahtay Stew and Navajo Fry Bread are definitely worth recommending, but the most popular item is the Navajo Taco, which is one of the best in the west. The Cactus Jack Shake is also top notch and there is nothing like the sight of a good milkshake to make the eyes grow bigger than the tummy! The old fashioned Navajo restaurant entrée portion sizes tend to be bigger than average, so be sure to work up a good appetite before stepping through the doors!
Venturing east of the overcrowded Grand Canyon National Park certainly is a good way to find some peace of mind after a long day. The sunset views at the Little Colorado Gorge are as beautiful as can be and the food is much better than what is served in the Grand Canyon Village. Hours can be spent shopping for native hand crafted mementos in the historic Cameron Trading Post, so be sure to check it out!
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