By Ming Lo
Chances are, you won’t see Shiprock unless you make it a point to do so. There’s some stunning scenery in the area, but much of it is not commonly traveled. Mesa Verde is to the North, and Four Corners a bit to the Northwest. To the West is the vast Canyon de Chelly.
Most landmarks have signs, directed areas where you can go. But Shiprock stands alone in the vast landscape and can be seen for miles in all directions. Rising 1,583 feet above the plain, Shiprock is considered sacred by the Navajo and is known as “rock with wings” or “winged rock”. As the legend tells, the Navajo were once in danger in a far away place, and the rock moved like a bird and brought the Navajo to their home in the American Southwest.
For an interesting perspective on Shiprock, Shiprock and Mont St. Michel: Photographs of William Clift is a photography book that compares Shiprock to Mont St. Michel.
Here is Shiprock in the distance. The best approach is from the South.
Two lines of rock lead away from Shiprock. At some angles, it looks like fins.
And finally, this angle. Does it look like a ship? Or ships?
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