Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument Chinle Reviews
Great place Jun 06, 2012
It is a beautiful sight in two senses: a) as a natural sight. Beautiful views. b) It's also a cultural heritage site. It is where the Navaho people made their stand against the Spanish in 1805 and then against the Americans. The Americans had surrounded the canyon from up above but wouldn't dare go down because the Navaho knew the canyon so they had the advantage. So the Americans poisoned the water and killed most Navaho. The Canyon today is still used and there is actually farming going on. You'll need a car to drive to the several view points and it takes one full day.
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Tseyi' - The Rock Canyon, the Sacred and Spiritual Cliff dwellings! Jun 10, 2011
There are thousands of rock canyons in the southwestern region of the United States. Of the thousands, some of the most breathtaking are in my home state of Arizona. On a recent 4 days weekend getaway to northern Arizona, my family and I, toured/ hiked Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Shay). The Spanish and English have corrupted the Navajo word Tseyi' which means Rock Canyon. Canyon de Chelly is a National monument located within the Canyon de Chelly National Monument National Park on the Navajo Reservation/nation. The canyon is set apart from other canyons in the west because of it's spiritual and sacred nature to the Navajo.
The canyon is made up of red rocks and huge sandstone walls that change color with light. Even from a high up as we were, I could to help but feel like I was seeing the walls of great cathedrals. Some of the walls were smooth and clean cut, while at other overlooks we saw curves, overhangs, ledges and twists that went deep into the canyon.
The canyon has remnants of ancient cliff dwellings, the most outstanding is the White House Ruin and Antelope House. We did not see two other dwelling; the Big Cave and Mummy Cave, both highly recommended.
We did a 2 hour tour and cover the 7 overlooks on the south rim, they are also the most scenic. If you are pressed for time, you can tour the north rim where there are only 3 overlooks.
It becomes incredibly hot in northern AZ in the later part of May and continues to the 3 digit temps throughout summer. It was very hot when we were there in the first part of June. I would recommend going in the early part of the year or later from September on wards.
Something else that took us by surprise was that the park being located on the Navajo Nation, observes daylight savings. I kept having issues with time until we saw the sign.
NO entrance fees. However, donations are appreciated.
There are free camp grounds and hotels in Chinle. The museum was closed when we visited. Should be opened by the end of July.
PS: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Part of the 2011 Travels & Adventures! travel blog
Part of the list National Historic Landmarks
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Awesome scenery with a lot of history Nov 06, 2008
Canyon de Chelly National Monument offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest Anaszai basketmakers to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here today.
Its primary attractions are ruins of Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 AD at the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is open year-round, but some of the inner canyons are impassable in winter and at certain other times of the year.
Visitor Center museum has regional books and cultural demonstrations, local artist exhibits and ranger-staffed information desk available.
Ranger-conducted activities are generally available every day May through September. These activities include morning coffee at the Visitor Center Hogan for orientation, daily canyon hikes, natural history programs at Junction Overlook and campfire programs at the Campground Amphitheater.
This area remains the home of the Navajo people who celebrate Navajo Day every Saturday, May through September, with activities relating to Navajo history and culture.
Meals are served at Thunderbird Lodge in the Monument, but no food or supplies are available in the Monument. Food and supplies, motels, gasoline, and other services are available 3 miles west in Chinle, AZ.
The Visitor Center, parking area, rest rooms and some overlook areas are accessible.
Rules, Regulations, Precautions
Federal regulations prohibit entering the canyons without a park ranger or authorized guide with permit.
It is unlawful to enter any ruin of an archeological site, or to deface, disturb or destroy any natural feature or artrifact.
Alcohol consumption or possession is prohibited in the park and on the Navajo reservation.
I fell in love with this Canyon. It's so awesome and spectacular. And the history of the canyon is long and for some part totally sad.
Next time I'm there I will hike down to the canyon floor and maybe even go into the canyon with a guide. Can't wait to go back there.. Thank you Adrian, for taking me there :o)
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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