The approach along the main highway (539/511) is similar from either east or west. The roads are paved but bumpy and in bad condition, crossing drab, dusty land of small ravines and low bushy hills. NM 511 follows the San Juan River for a while then climbs up and over the earthen Navajo Dam and on to the main state park area (entrance $5 in 2020) which is situated to the right, reached by a short side road, and includes a busy marina with floating pontoons, campsite, grocery store, picnic area and ranger station. The surroundings are quite scenic - an expanse of blue water, small sandy beaches separated by vertical cliffs of whitish limestone with rocky slopes and ledges above. The beaches are nice and have clean, soft sand, colorful pebbles and no mud, but those near the marina have large amounts of litter so it is best to walk along the shore (northwards) for 20 minutes or so to find sites less visited.