Explore the amazing canyons that people have lived in for almost 5,000 years. Today the Navajo Native Americans live, raise livestock, farm in the canyon.
The Canyon de Chelly is located in the heart of the Navajo Nation. The Canyon is beautiful at any time of day and during any season. The visitor center is not to be missed, as it will help you understand the Navajo people and experience a traditional Hogan home. One can simply drive around the canyon and stop along 10 overlook points to see the beauty. There is one self-guided hike that will take one about a 2 hours round trip. To get a closer look at the Canyon, one must hire a certified guide. Families live in the canyon and the area is closed during very wet/rainy season for safety. I suggest taking a guided tour, so that you can learn the heritage of the area and of the Navajo People. My favorite stop is Spider Rock and the tale that goes along with it. There may be Navajo people parked at the overlooks selling the jewelry, pottery, rugs, and art that they make. I bought a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that depicts the canyon and its importance to the Navajo people.
If you go, be sure to have bottled water with you. Remember that animals roam wild in the Navajo Nation, so it’s not unusual for a cow to stop traffic because they are lying in the middle of the road chewing its cud. Horses and dogs are frequently running across the road into Canyon de Chelly, so be careful.
I have been to Canyon de Chelly at least a half dozen times and I am always amazed at the beauty and history this virtually unknown Canyon offers visitors. I’ve sent friends and youth groups to Canyon de Chelly, all were skeptical, but enjoyed their experience and getting to understand the Navajo people a bit better.