Canyon de Chelly
1931: National Monument
About the SiteSheer red cliffs, dramatic narrow canyons, and caves that hide ruins of Native American villages built between AD 350 and 1300 are all part of Canyon de Chelly's attraction. This showcases history of Native Americans from the earliest inhabitants to the Navajos who currently live and work and farm here.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument includes two large canyons, Canyon de Chelly to the south and Canyon del Muerto to the north. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced canyon d'shay) got its name from the Navajo word Tseyi, which means canyon or "in the rock." All this land, although a National Monument, is Navajo land.
What You're Going to SeeThere's auto touring, camping and hiking in dramatic canyon trails. Jeep touring is available as well, and horseback riding. Meals are available in-park at the Thunderbird Lodge.
Personal ObservationsThe sheer cliffs are fantastic. I drove to the Ledge Ruin and Antelope House Overlooks, and they are fantastic! How could a river cut the walls straight down like that? Staring down to the canyon floor, I saw a few pickups and 4x4's, monument visitors being led by a Navajo guide. They were tiny.
Getting ThereThis Monument is in northern Arizona, near the New Mexico border. From I-40, take exit 333 and go north on Highway 191 for about 87 miles to Chinle. The Monument is about 3 miles east of Chinle.
Nearby AttractionsTo the south, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is about 35 miles away, and Petrified Forest National Park is about 70 miles away. Navajo National Monument is about 70 miles to the northwest. Natural Bridges National Monument is about 100 miles to the north, in Utah. Four Corners, where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet, is about 60 miles to the north. Hovenweep National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park are about 95 miles to the northeast in Colorado. Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument are about 80 miles to the east in New Mexico.